Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rb Toussaint Eyeing No. 3 Spot Running Back Hoping to Build off Postseason

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rb Toussaint Eyeing No. 3 Spot Running Back Hoping to Build off Postseason

Article excerpt

Three players in the long, often illustrious Steelers playoff history were able to produce at least 50 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving in one postseason game.

Yes, Franco Harris did it, three times. Another was Merril Hoge, who did it once in a valiant but losing cause at Denver.

The third? None other than Fitz Toussaint, who combined for 118 yards running and receiving to help the Steelers win at Cincinnati, 18-16, Jan. 9. Toussaint also helped keep their wild, winning touchdown drive alive in that game when he converted a difficult third-down reception from the Steelers' 17 into a first down.

He virtually started both playoff games last season after DeAngelo Williams was lost with a foot injury in the regular season finale.

Toussaint (who prefers Fitz to Fitzgerald) also scored a touchdown that put the Steelers ahead the following week in Denver, 7-6. It was a lead they did not relinquish until three minutes left in the ballgame.

Despite those efforts by a halfback who spent most of last season on the practice squad, Toussaint is often remembered for his big mistake against the Broncos. He lost a fumble on a second-down run around left tackle at Denver's 31 with the Steelers on top, 13-12, and trying to stretch their lead. The Broncos recovered and drove for the winning score in an ultimate 23-13 victory.

Steelers fans are not the only ones who will never forget that fumble.

"It's something I think about all the time," Toussaint said during a quiet moment on the campus of Saint Vincent College Saturday. "I make a conscious effort to never let it happen again."

Toussaint, who played at Michigan and was up and down with the Ravens as a rookie, is locked in a battle to become the No. 3 back. That would turn into No. 2 if Le'Veon Bell's four-game suspension is upheld. Toussaint uses his fumble in Denver to drive him.

"It's definitely a motivational factor. It's nothing I can dismiss. It's something I definitely have to work to improve on, especially on a stage like this. You can't be careless with the football."

Before that occurred, Toussaint had done well replacing both Bell and Williams in the post-season lineup. …

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