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Thread: Smith playing strong, gets another start at Safety..Wilson getting better

          
   
   
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    Smith playing strong, gets another start at Safety..Wilson getting better

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06350/746601-66.stm

    Saturday, December 16, 2006

    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    It might be that Ryan Clark is still not 100 percent recovered from a groin injury that caused him to miss the previous game. Or it could be that rookie Anthony Smith played so well in his first NFL start that he will get another against the Carolina Panthers.

    Whatever the case, Smith is expected to start at free safety tomorrow against the Panthers, another step on his road to becoming a full-time starter in the Steelers' secondary. If he is not already.

    "I had a good week and I think they want to see if I can carry it through the next week," Smith said. "I want to get in there."

    Smith made a big impression in his first start, intercepting a pass and delivering several big hits in a 27-7 victory against the Cleveland Browns. He was filling in for Clark, whose groin was injured five days earlier against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Clark is listed as probable on the team's injury report and has practiced all week. But it appears he will be used as an extra back in the dime defense and Smith will start against the Panthers.

    "I was pretty happy with my performance," Smith said of his play against the Browns. "[The coaches] said I had a good game. I don't know what they're going to do yet. Regardless of what they do, I just do what they ask me to do. It doesn't matter too much."

    Smith said it has taken time to learn the free-safety position, which requires the player to call defensive signals, and also get comfortable as the sixth defensive back in the dime defense. But he said he is "real comfortable" now and needs to just get more playing time.

    It was the same thing when safety Troy Polamalu was a rookie. He was used as an extra back in the nickel defense all season and did not become a starter until his second year. Polamalu has said the most difficult adjustment was learning the defense.

    "I didn't think it started clicking for me probably till late in the season, about this time," Polamalu said. Then, referring to Smith, he said, "He seems comfortable with it. He plays the game very hard. He has a good feel for the game."


    Wilson feeling better


    Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson (ankle) practiced for the second day in a row and will play on a limited basis against the Panthers. Santonio Holmes, however, will start at split end for the second game in a row.

    Wilson was upgraded to probable on the team's injury report, one day after he was upgraded from doubtful to questionable.

    It is something of a rapid comeback for Wilson, who missed only one game with a high ankle sprain. Typically, such injuries result in more missed games.

    "It just started feeling better," said Wilson, who is tied for third on the team with 32 catches.

    "It's a matter of threshold of pain. And I'm able to take the pain."
    This is really great news for us, I like with Anthony Smith brings to our secondary. This can only help us with our depth especially at safety, and should make for some great battles next training camp.

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    Anthony Smith just amazed me with how well he played in his first start for us against the Browns. If he can keep that level up, he's gonna be a factor in every game

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    This is really great news for us, I like with Anthony Smith brings to our secondary. This can only help us with our depth especially at safety, and should make for some great battles next training camp.
    I agree Top Gun. I would expect Smith to start next year and make a nice tandom with Troy at safety. Then Ryan Clark would the top backup and he is a solid player. Now if the Steelers can add some depth at corner then this secondary could be very good. I think Ike will rebound next year and McFadden has the makings of a solid player. But after that its really DeShea and he seems to be declining some due to age.
    But I will say the Steelers get a better and more consistent pass rush then that would take some heat off the corners.
    Last edited by Black@Gold Forever32; 12-16-2006 at 01:18 PM.

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    Yep that's the key, if you notice in all of our wins we got alot of pressure on the QB, we stopped the run, our DB's weren't left all alone while the QB has 10 seconds to decide where to throw it. In all of our losses our pressure way down and our DB's were exposed.

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    i dont expect wilson to be with us next year

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    Quote Originally Posted by K-Train View Post
    i dont expect wilson to be with us next year
    I think he's got one more year on his contract
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
    -unknown

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    He signed a 2 yr deal when he got here, unless they extended it already then this should be last year..unless we bring him back.

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    Smith has been nothing but awesome this year! I'm really looking forward to watching Smith and Troy playing together It's really scary when you actually think about what these 2 guys will be able to do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    He signed a 2 yr deal when he got here, unless they extended it already then this should be last year..unless we bring him back.
    Wilson signed a 4 yr Contract with us and I thought this was his 3rd season, But I see that it's only his 2nd. That don't seem right.
    Anyways, Wison is signed until 2008
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
    -unknown

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    I had never been too impressed with Cedric Wilson's abilities until I saw what he did tonight. I LOVED when they said "Antwaan Randle Who"?? Cedric really fired that pass in with confidence! Great to see some "trick play" comin back! Maybe that's more where his talent lies?


    And this was the second game with
    A: No INTs from Big Ben
    B: A TD run by him
    C: A QB sneak

    It sure appears that he's "back"--and now that HE'S back, everyone else seems to be doing better as well


    Santonio had that one catch where he was DRAGGING the guy on his back to reach the 1st down...that had to take huge effort! And his return for a TD?? Oh man, it just doesn't get much better

    Willie had a huge impact on the game as well...the whole team just really brought it Sunday--they have every reason to feel good about how they're playin right now.

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