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Thread: Status of Steelers' Smith still in doubt

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    Status of Steelers' Smith still in doubt

    Thursday, January 06, 2011
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    Aaron Smith has spent the past two days on the Steelers' practice field, wearing the same gear as his teammates and going through the same stretches and warmups. It is the first time he has done that since he sustained a torn triceps tendon in his right arm that caused him to miss the past 10 games.

    But, soon as his teammates begin team drills and go through a light practice, Smith goes back to doing what he has been doing since late October -- watching.

    And that might not change anytime soon, if at all.

    Smith's appearance on the practice field has given hope to an imminent return, even for him. But there still are many questions and concerns from all involved -- his teammates, coaches, the organization, even the 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive end himself -- about whether he can return any time before the Super Bowl, should the Steelers make it that far.

    This much is known: Smith will not play when the Steelers open the postseason Jan. 15 in a divisional playoff game at Heinz Field. The earliest he will return is if the Steelers advance to the AFC championship game Jan. 23, though even that possibility is uncertain at this time.

    But having him back on the practice field, even for just light conditioning, is a step in that direction.

    "When all the information is in, the ultimate decision is up to me," Smith said Wednesday after practice. "I'll hear what everyone has to say and see what their verdict is and make an informed decision at that time."

    The Steelers want to give Smith, one of their best and most-beloved players, every opportunity to show he can come back from his injury and play, even if it is in a limited capacity. But, in the end, Smith could end up like former offensive tackle Marvel Smith, who missed the final 10 games of the 2008 regular season and was placed on the injured-reserve list right before the playoffs when it was determined he would not be ready for the postseason.

    "If he comes back, I don't want him to come back unless he can play," said defensive end Brett Keisel. "I don't think he should come back if he's 75 percent. He needs to get his body healthy. That's when he'll be most effective."

    The Steelers have left open a roster spot for Smith, 33, since he was injured Oct. 24 in Miami. Still, they remain concerned about a recurrence of his existing injury, or even a new injury that might result from three months of game inactivity, if he plays. That would be another major setback for Smith because it would likely sideline him again until training camp.

    The Steelers think Smith can play a couple more seasons and they don't want to jeopardize that possibility by having him appear in a limited role in the postseason.

    "You don't want to force him back and reinjure it and start this process all over again and miss all the [offseason training]," Keisel said. "You definitely have to be careful."



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11006...#ixzz1AH7Bxq35

  2. #2
    K Train's Avatar
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    should have IRd him and kept gibson

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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    should have IRd him and kept gibson
    You freaking nailed it there!!
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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Can't blame Tomlin for keeping a roster spot open for him, if he honestly felt he could come back later in the season I think it was worth the risk. Considering how much the defense missed him last year, no one could forsee that we'd be able to bounce back this well against the run without him.

    It would nice to have him back, but getting him back at 100% is not going to happen for this years playoff run. I would say he'd at best probably be about 80% IMO.

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    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    I'll get shot but Hood has been making plays and seems to be finding his way a bit better, I honestly think we're fine w/out Smith this year...
    "Happy Happy Happy"

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    K Train's Avatar
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    yeah hood has been above less than average the last 2 games....against carolina and the browns.

    hopefully he wont be raped in the playoffs against quality opponents

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    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    yeah hood has been above less than average the last 2 games....against carolina and the browns.

    hopefully he wont be raped in the playoffs against quality opponents
    True, I think he'll be fine (can't believe I'm typing that)!

    His swimming spin move for a sack got me thinking he's got more to offer. But we'll see!
    "Happy Happy Happy"

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    hes a 310 pound edge rusher...doesnt make sense but whatever, as long as hes moderately effective

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    I have to say, like the rest of the Steeler nation, that I've been very impressed with our effectiveness vs the run while Smith has been out. Credit Hood for some of that, Polamalu as well, but in general the entire defense stepping up to fill the void this year. Every year but this one the defense has suffered dramatically without Aaron Smith in there.

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    Draft Pick pimplydan's Avatar
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    Ziggy is coming along really well ,don't get me wrong ,but having Smith on the field in a playoff ambience would help our defence tremendously . Of course, I'm talking about a healthy Aaron Smith .
    Playoff experience and leadership is a huge plus . Truely , I beleive the defence can and will get the job done without Smith . Theirs enough experienced leaders on the steelers defence without him .

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