Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers' Tomlin Laments Big Plays

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers' Tomlin Laments Big Plays

Article excerpt

Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers' penchant for allowing big pass plays continues to be "a thorn in our side" and one of the players responsible for those deep passes may not play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

At his weekly press conference today, Tomlin said cornerback Ike Taylor, who was removed from the Cincinnati game after allowing an 81-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green, may not play because of a shoulder injury.

The Steelers cited his injury as the reason Taylor was removed from the 42-21 victory against the Bengals. It was the second long touchdown Taylor has allowed in the two games he has played since returning from a broken forearm.

The Steelers have had a problem with deep passes, allowing 13 of at least 40 yards this season - tied for second most in the league - including five in the past four games.

"It continues to be a thorn in our side," Tomlin said. "When two of [Cincinnati's] three scoring drives had chunk plays or chunk plays in them, it's not what we're looking for."

Tomlin said the Steelers decided to use Taylor to shadow Green because of his familiarity with the Bengals' top receiver, even though Taylor was playing in just his second game after missing the previous eight. Green caught nine of his 10 passes for 143 yards when Taylor was covering him.

"Not a lot of our corners have seen A.J. Green," Tomlin said. "That was our course of action, despite his [lack of playing time]."

Tomlin also sounded unsure about the participation of outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) and right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) against the Falcons on Sunday, saying he will let practice this week "be our guide."

Tomlin said outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who returned after a 10-game absence with a broken wrist, had no adverse effects from his injury and "we feel good about him moving forward."

He also said nose tackle Steve McLendon, who missed the previous two games, had no setback with his shoulder in his return from injury.

- Gerry Dulac, The Pittsburgh Press

MLB: Pirates close to deal with Liriano

SAN DIEGO - The Pirates are close to bringing back starter Francisco Liriano, according to two people familiar with the situation.

This morning, MLB Daily Rumors and CBS Sports reported that the sides had agreed on a three-year deal worth $39 million, which would be the largest free-agent contract in Pirates history.

One source said the sides have been close for about a week.

A source told the Post-Gazette in November that Liriano, the 31- year-old lefty who pitched for the Pirates the past two seasons, was seeking three- or four-year contracts worth $13 million or more in average annual value. With this deal, Liriano got it. The Pirates also took him off the board before Jon Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields signed.

The Pirates had given Liriano a $15. …

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