Apparently Tomlin has seen enough deep passes during the past two games and is ready to make a change. Tyrone Carter will be the starting free safety this Thursday in place of second year, Anthony Smith. After allowing just one pass play over 40 yards going into the New England game, the defense has allowed three in the past two games and Smith was involved in each of them. Smith remains a dynamic youngster but he has some growing up and maturing to do both on and off the field. Carter is getting more playing time than he could have imagined coming into the year since injuries have depleted the safety position. He's played well in spots this year including 12 total tackles in the Mud Bowl.
"When you're required to be deep, you have to be deep. Sometimes it gets habit-forming, to start biting on plays. I guess [the coaches] were fed up with it. But they're going to need him. It's just me, him and Troy [Polamalu]. It's nothing about his play; it's just thinking about what you're doing."
This marks the first time that Tomlin has benched a starter for poor play during his first season as head coach.
- Ike Taylor didn't practice yesterday and still had a "noticeable" limp.
- Marvel Smith hasn't been ruled out for Thursday yet, but it seems like a forgone conclusion.
- Clark Haggans and Travis Kirschke both went through some drills yesterday in practice but their status is unclear. Hopefully Haggans is ruled out soon.