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Rapid Reports: Bengal Week! *Updated*

Ask and you shall receive.  You wanted more of these so I will deliver.  After Sunday night's disappointing loss some of us were looking at our terrible towels with despair.  But as with all things the pain of loss too shall pass.  Its time to turn the page and cage the Bengals.  This game is bigger than the Saints game and it is of more importance to the Steelers season than the Saints game.  I hope this loss re-focuses the team into making a 6 game win streak.  We need it, one game at a time.

Fresh are the memories of 2009, the epic loss, the heartbreaking reality of losing to the bengals.  Those wounds have not yet healed and seeing our own blood should drive us into a frenzy.  Lest we not forget what our eyes witnessed last year, lest we not forget the dishonor, lest we not forget. 

The Bengals are a desperate team.  There have been many questions about the coach, the QB, the direction of the team.  I find it hard to see Marvin Lewis being able to withstand too many setbacks before getting the ax and if that happens the bengals will have to start from scratch.  Its a wonderful thought indeed.

This is their last chance to right the ship this year.  I say we blow a cannon ball in the middle of their canoe.  I want to be the team that puts the last hole in their sinking ship that cause it to capsize and drown in despair.  A win here and we could do more than move a step closer to the division title and redeeming our loss from last year, we could set the bengals back another 5 years.   

Carson Palmer on former roommate at USC and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu: "He's probably the best defensive player in the game. He plays at such a different speed than just about everybody else out there."

This explains it all.  Palmer being a roommate with Troy at USC had to have snuck into Troy's closet and rubbing on Troy's secret samoan lotion of awesomeness.  Which explains why he did so well at the beginning of his career.  But that lotion has long worn off and Palmer is now left with his normal abilities.  I'm sure you'll see Carson talking to troy before the game, "Hey troy, you remember that lotion you used to keep in your closet, yea could I borrow some" , Troy looks Carson in the eye and just says, 'No, Carson and stop sending me pictures of your hair styles".  

- S Troy Polamalu on the the NFL crackdown on certain hits: "I don't think the fines should be just totally based on what two or three people may say who are totally away from the game. I think it should be some of the players currently playing who have a say."  

Troy Polamalu said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has too much power. He also said that paranoia is rampant around the league since the crackdown on certain hits by defenders.

Well we know where Troy stands on the topic.  I agree with him, Roger has way too much power.  But then again if he used his power effectively then it wouldn't be an issue.  The problem is that Roger sometimes abuses his powers and acts out of ego.  He cares more about image than he does the actual players.  At least this is the image that he gives off, would ironically could come to haunt him in the future.  "Irony is not without a sense of humor." - Morpheus from The Matrix

 The offensive line is playing well despite injuries that have required a different starting five almost every week. Credit the solid perfomance of the unit to new offensive line coach Sean Kugler

You know they say that continuity is the most important factor in offensive line play.  If that is the case then yea our boys have been playing above average.  Now lets hope we can avoid injuries and allow the line to gel more, that would greatly improve the offense.  I believe the only missing piece is a RG to this line.

 Coach Mike Tomlin on the job that offensive line coach Sean Kugler has done: "He's done a really good job, but then again, we are not about patting ourselves on the back. We're just trying to win football games." 

I had to include this quote because it keeps things in prospective.  Does line play matters if you're winning? No.  If you manage to win games with poor line play no one cares.  If you lose and the line play is good then it doesn't matter.  The point is to win games and you want to have good line play while winning.

 Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer on Steelers WR Mike Wallace: "He's improved the most, in my opinion. He's catching the ball, and they're moving him around in a lot of different places. Great speed. Catches a long touchdown every game. He's more consistent now than he was."

Yea, and when he is open on a deep TD pass chances are, he isn't dropping it.  (Looking at you Sweed).  I hope Wallace continues his improvement to being an all around WR in this league.  Lets see him catch a couple TDs Monday night.

 Coach Mike Tomlin on DE Ziggy Hood's performance Sunday: "I thought Ziggy played well in the game, as did (DE) Nick Eason. They did a nice job playing their gaps.

Its always hard to judge 3-4 line play.  So I'll take tomlin's word on it.  I looks like Kiesel will be back this week and we'll have some more depth at DE.  As long as Ziggy can keep teams from gashing us with the run we'll be fine.  

The Steelers signed DE Sunny Harris to the practice squad Wednesday. He played with the team last year and will take the place of LB Al Woods, who was signed Tuesday by Tampa Bay.

Its good to see him back.  Hopefully he'll start playing up to some of the promise we saw in pre season.  We need some depth at DE and hopefully he can provide it.  Aaron Smith is probably in his last contract, especially if he keeps getting injured and we're going to need some young bodies to try to replace him.    

The Steelers have signed LB Chris Ellis to the practice squad. Ellis, the former DE from Virginia Tech, was a third-round pick by the Bills in 2008.

It hurts to lose Gibson.  I honestly wish they would have cut Madison instead of gibson.  But what can you do.  I know nothing about Chris Ellis so I did some digging he's 6-4 260 lbs, runs about a 4.56 40 yard dash and was waived by the bills in October.  Scouting says he is a good edge rusher who plays well against the run.  He gets good leverage.  A couple of weaknesses were that need to add muscle and isn't very instinctive and some technique issues.

 

Aaron Smith is the only player on Thursday's injury report. He is out with a torn triceps

I'd say we're pretty healthy going into the middle of the season.  No excuses this time, I don't care if Smith is out.  We have a first round draft pick subbing in for him and Nick Eason, we have depth everywhere else on defense.  We should not experience the same issues we had last year.  If we do then its not because Smith is out.  

 Look for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to dial up plenty of blitzes Monday night to put the pressure on Bengals QB Carson Palmer and help out the secondary.

Ahh, you love to hear that.  Nothing would do Steelers fans better than for Palmer to get sacked about 6-8 times monday night.  We need to start harassing QBs making them anticipate hits and blitzes.  We have felt that the playcalling was a little conservative, we'll see if he dials it up and if that improves the pass defense.  If it is effective it will, if it isn't then the pass defense could get worse.  I think we'll get to the QB.

Coach Mike Tomlin on the Cincinnati Bengals: "They're a good football team despite their record. From our perspective this is why: They swept the division a year ago. Their core players are still the same and they added to the mix."

Glad to see they haven't forgotten about last year, which I would expect that they wouldn't.  The fans sure haven't, I think we should feel confident that the steelers are going to give full effort and be focused on monday night.  No way you want to lose two straight especially on prime time.  The record doesn't matter, they swept us last year, lets returnt he favor.

Troy Polamalu says he is healthy after an injury-filled 2009, but but he says he has failed to make some plays this season that he would normally make. "I think there are a lot of opportunities to make plays in games (that) I didn't make," he said. "It has nothing to do with anything physical, maybe second-guessing myself."

This doesn't sound good for those who are concerned about our all-world safety.  Lets hope he get's his football instincts in-sync by monday.  If we want to be a good pass defense we need troy to be great.

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