Tomlin: 3 keys for Sunday vs. Browns

  1. Time is on his side: Running back DeAngelo Williams, who could be limited in practice at the start of the week with inflammation in his foot, has stood the test of time and is playing years younger than a 32-year old, 10-year veteran. Williams carried the ball 27 times for 170 yards with two touchdowns against the Raiders, and Coach Mike Tomlin said he isn't concerned about the workload because of how he handles it.

"It's a blessing," said Tomlin. "I'm sure it's also what he does and how he works. He enjoys the drudgery. DeAngelo loves to lift, train and workout. You see him in the weight room on off days and you see him after practice. I just think that general attitude, regarding the things that come with professional football, enable him to endure and enable him to be available to us and whoever he's been with. I think there's a lot in that.

"Much like James Harrison, who happens to be a football junkie, I think you can say the same about DeAngelo. And probably, it produces the same results, in terms of longevity and availability."

  1. Up to speed:* *With it being said that Williams is battling the inflammation, Tomlin did say that he would expect running back Jordan Todman to be ready to go on Sunday against the Browns if needed, but back Isaiah Pead still needs some time to get up to speed in the offense.

"Todman is ready," said Tomlin. "He's been here for an extended period of time now. He been here enough time now to have the details necessary to perform above the line. We're still very much in the teaching mode with Pead. Obviously, how he performs from a detail and assignment standpoint during the course of this week will dictate whether or not he's going to be part of the equation at the end of the week."


James steps up:** Rookie tight end Jesse James was active for the first time this season against the Raiders, stepping up with Matt Spaeth sidelined with a knee injury. James finished the day with two receptions, including his first NFL touchdown. Tomlin liked what he saw from the team's fifth-round draft pick, and said he brings something different to the table than Spaeth.

"He's a different guy," said Tomlin. "He brings a different skillset. He probably does some things in the passing game better than Matt. Matt probably does some things better in the run game, but it's not about comparing him to Matt. It's about him developing the type of detail in his work, where we can consistently count on him.

"He did a nice job in his first outing on Sunday and we'll see where it goes."

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