Now that Kirschke is out for the Denver game, it looks like the Steelers are down to their third-string defensive end, and it also means we're going to see a lot of two rookie defensive ends. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Okay, Aaron Smith is out, and his backup Travis Kirschke is out. And that leaves Eason and Kiesel as the starters. But this is Denver which - as we all know - is ten miles above sea level and where there is no oxygen at all. So the Steelers plan to rotate their defensive linemen a lot to keep them fresh. Or at least to keep them from dying due to lack of oxygen.
Ziggy Hood will be the backup on one side, and our man Sunny "Sonny" Harris will be the backup on the other. I'm really intrigued by this. Ziggy's been fine so far, considering that most rookies spend their first year on the bench, studying Coach Dad's playbook.
But, as a BTSC member, I firmly believe - as we all do - that Sunny "Sonny" Harris is the Next Great Thing, and may lead us back to the Promised Land even before Isaac Redzone Redman. Monday night, we will see our two rookie defensive line draft picks bookending the Big Snack or Hokie. And with Denver likely concentrating on stopping Deebo and Woodley, we might get to see what the young pups can do.
Let's hope they play within themselves and avoid the rookie mistakes of enthusiasm. Traps and draws and reverses can kill rookies when their adrenaline is pumping. I just want to see Harris getting up and looking down over a fallen Orton....and I want to see that "after-the-sack glow" more than once.
With all the matchups everyone's talking about, I'm gonna be most interested to see how the two rooks handle themselves. We all know the 2009 draft was a good one. We may be on the verge of discovering whether it was a great one.
Good luck, rooks. I hope it's a night we long remember, and for all the right reasons.