PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — When head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media at his weekly press conference in preparation for Saturday night’s preseason game in Buffalo, he praised the work backup linebacker Chris Carter has done while superstar James Harrison and semi-regular Jason Worilds try to regain their health.
“It’s obvious he’s improved as a player in a lot of ways between year one and year two, which is what we ask all our developing second-year players to do,” Tomlin said Thursday afternoon. “He’s stronger at the point, he’s always had a nice motor, and he’s getting better…from an assignment standpoint. But the most important thing is, he’s taking advantage of the opportunity someone else’s misfortune has given him. They haven’t been empty snaps…and that’s important.”
Carter, 23, who played several series in Pittsburgh’s 26-24 win over Indianapolis last Sunday, was a 2011 fifth-round draft choice by the Steelers.
Tomlin did not speaking to the status of Worilds, who has been nursing a wrist injury, but definitively ruled out Harrison for Saturday as he continues to recover from a recent knee surgery. Fellow linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, also suffering from a bad knee, will not make the trip either, Tomlin said.
Meanwhile, the coach informed the masses he will play his first-teamers across the board the entire first half on Saturday, which, for most NFL clubs, is par for the course in their third exhibition game. However, that is not to say guys won’t be able to continue fighting for jobs, especially with injuries to multiple running backs, and a reserve wide receiver spot up for grabs.
“Obviously he represented himself well in last week’s game, and he’s putting together a nice body of work,” Tomlin said of free agent David Gilreath, one of the men trying to play his way into that receiver job, “but we’re just at the turn here. We’ve played two games, we’ve got two more to play, and guys like him, Toney Clemons, Marquis Maze, and others are going to have a chance to state a case for themselves.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 Saturday on KDKA-TV.