- Scott Brown, ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter
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PITTSBURGH -- Some leftovers from this week at Steelers' headquarters:
LeBeau likes Worilds' versatility: A calf injury may sideline LaMarr Woodley for the second consecutive game and allow Jason Worilds to start at outside linebacker, the position from which he had a sack and four quarterback pressures last Sunday. Worilds appears to play better at left outside linebacker but defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau doesn't sound like he is inclined to play Worilds more there even when Woodley returns. "Jason has got good speed and a good burst and he can play on both sides," LeBeau said. "I think he's pretty much at home on both sides of the ball."
Out of harm's way: The Steelers were stopped five times from the Lions' 1-yard line on two separate drives last Sunday, and offensive coordinator Todd Haley was asked why the Steelers don't use more quarterback sneaks when they are near the goal-line. Haley's answer: The Steelers shouldn't have to put their quarterback at risk, even one who is listed at 6-5, 241 pounds. "I think you always worry a little when you call a sneak," Haley said "You have a lot of big bodies taking head shots and things like that. It's something we do work on in practice. I am not disappointed in the plays that were run in that area [against the Lions]. We just can't let chances end up missed."
Woof, woof: Jerricho Cotchery was well aware of how passionate Browns fans are long before he made it to the NFL. "Growing up my dad was a Browns fans," the Steelers wide receiver said. "He used to always stomp around the house, bark like a dog and say dog pound. It's a great atmosphere to play in." Cotchery may be a bit of a marked man by the Browns secondary as he has already caught a career-high seven touchdown passes this season. The Browns are fourth in the NFL in passing defense (217.4 yards per game), and they have yet to allow a 300-yard passer.
More than a passing thought: Ryan Clark has never been one to shy away from voicing an opinion, and the veteran free safety offered this take on why the NFL has become more of a passing league. "The way that the league is now it allows you certain freedoms in the passing game," Clark said. "[Receivers] can't get touched after five yards. Your quarterback gets [so] protected he might as well wear a flag. All of these things put you at less risk of anything bad happening when you pass the ball so I think that's why people pass and quarterbacks make this money."
Beachum continues to grind: Haley praised Kelvin Beachum, who has started the last six games at left tackle. But he stopped short of saying that Beachum may well be the Steelers' long-term answer at left tackle. "I think that's what he's trying to prove and what we're all trying to see," Haley said. "You will see him visiting with [former Steelers linemen] Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the side. He's in [offensive line] coach Jack Bicknell's ear all week long. That's what he is about, trying to be as good as he can be."