By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As a concession to potential injury and their status on the team, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin relieved Pro Bowl outside linebacker James Harrison and starting defensive end Brett Keisel of important special teams responsibilities.
It's time for Tomlin to stop being Mr. Nice Guy and return Harrison and Keisel to the trenches with the other special teams grunts.
It was 2007 all over again for the Steelers during Sunday's special teams meltdown in a critical 18-12 loss to Cincinnati at Heinz Field.
Only this time it wasn't Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs returning kickoffs for 100 and 90 yards in the same game, or Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew's backbreaking kickoff return in the AFC Wild Card playoff game.
Pin this loss on the special teams for allowing another kickoff return for a touchdown, the third kickoff returned for a score against the Steelers in four games.
If Tomlin truly believes special teams are just as important as his offense and defense, he'll shake up the lineup before Sunday's game at Kansas City.
″It's something we've worked on, something that obviously we're aware of and it just seems to keep happening,'' Keisel said. ″I'm sure coach Tomlin is going to address it and I'm sure some moves are going to be made. Who knows? I might be at (my old position) again.''
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Please Mike? I'm begging you!