Coach Bill Cowher hopes a little familiarity will lead to a lot of improvement on the Steelers' coverage units. The Steelers rank last in the NFL in punt coverage after yielding an average of 26.3 yards on three returns to Wes Welker, including a 47-yarder that set up the Miami Dolphins' first touchdown in the season opener. While the Steelers cut special teams ace Chidi Iwuoma -- they needed to make room for reserve quarterback Brian St. Pierre after Ben Roethlisberger's emergency appendectomy -- Cowher said the punt-coverage team's struggles could be largely attributed to the group not playing together enough during the preseason.
"As I told them, I put that first week on me because that was their first exposure with guys like Clint Kriewaldt and James Harrison," Cowher said Tuesday. "Those guys didn't do much in the preseason so I think we had to work out some of the kinks."