Mid-week news, notes
Steelers rookie running back Le'Veon Bell has been cleared by doctors to return to action Sunday against Miami.
Bell went through full practices on both Wednesday and Thursday and has had no ill effects from the concussion he suffered last Thursday night in Baltimore.
Bell said the initial hit at the goal line wasn't the main cause of the concussion. After that blow, his helmet came off and his head bounced off the turf. Bell said he believes that was the blow that was the serious one.
@ This is just a feeling on my part, but if LaMarr Woodley plays on Sunday, which is a possibility after he was a full participant in practice Thursday, he could line up quite a bit on the right side of the defense, allowing Jason Worilds to continue on the left side.
@ Cornerback Ike Taylor called Miami's receiving group the best the Steelers have faced to this point.
Some might scoff at that, but the numbers say Taylor might be right.
Brian Hartline has 62 receptions for 804 yards and three scores. Mike Wallace is at 56-743-3. Tight end Charles Clay has 53 catches for 581 yards and four scores.
The Dolphins have five players with at least 30 receptions and seven different players have scored touchdowns.
Young quarterback Ryan Tannehill is spreading the ball around in Miami's West Coast offense, though Hartline, Wallace and Clay are the main cogs.
Because of that, I look for the Steelers to play the Dolphins straight up, with Taylor staying on the right side and William Gay playing at left corner. The Steelers could also use Cortez Allen a lot on the outside and move Gay inside to cover Clay.
It will be an interesting chess match.
@ An interesting note: The Dolphins have given up one TD pass to a wide receiver all season. But they have also given up eight to opposing tight ends.
Could be a big game for Heath Miller.Read full post: Mid-week news, notes
League hands down Tomlin punishment
Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Wednesday with the league leaving open the possibility that some draft picks could also be in play in the future.
The fine was handed out for Tomlin's sideline fiasco in Baltimore that has been replayed to death on the NFL Network and ESPN for the past six days.
For his part, Tomlin apologized again in a statement released on the team web site, adding: "I accept the penalty that I received. I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Good for Tomlin.
He addressed the situation at length on Tuesday at his press conference. There was really nothing more to say on the subject.
As for the possible loss of draft picks, I believe the league is leaving that open just in case another film of the incident surfaces or more evidence comes out that proves some kind of intent on Tomlin's part.
I believe it was an honest mistake for which a fine was deserved. The fine was in line with what other head coaches received for past incidents - Mike Tice was fined $100,000 for scalping tickets - though I do believe it could have been more.
@ Some questions were asked on a previous post about Tomlin saying he didn't read the NFL memo that was reportedly released last Wednesday.
Some questioned how that could happen.
The biggest issue is that we don't know what time the reported memo was released.
The day before a road game, the Steelers hold team meetings early in the morning, then a walk through before heading to the airport for a 2:30 p.m. flight.
Once they arrive at the team hotel, they have further team meetings and meetings with the TV network commentators who will be calling the game. Tomlin also has to tape a coaches show for the team radio network sometime in that time period - something that's usually done Friday during a normal week but is done Wednesday in a condensed week such as it was.
Doesn't leave a lot of free time to read memos that come out the day before you play.
@ Brett Keisel was in a walking boot today. He's already been declared as out against Miami. But this appears is if it could be something that could keep him out even longer.Read full post: League hands down Tomlin punishment