Jim Wexell: This is a huge concern of mine. I never like concussed quarterbacks for obvious reasons. He came back from another concussion in 2006 and had a dreadful next two games (Oakland and Denver). There's a litany of QBs who've stunk up stadiums after concussions, and this one was a violent whiplash.
Will they alter the playcalling? Probably. Bruce Arians will probably call a pass on every play, plus some waggles and boots just to show the media that their concussion concerns are unfounded. Seriously, with the weather dropping to zero with wind and snow, I expect the Steelers to attempt 50 passes.
RB Willie Parker
JW: They'd need a fullback, for starters. Then they'd need an offensive coordinator with some imagination for the run game. So, my answer to you is no.
ML: TE Heath Miller missed the game against the Chargers earlier this season. How will the Steelers offense change with him back in the mix?
JW: The dude's tough as nails. He gives them the speed that Matt Spaeth could not in his career day versus the Chargers earlier this season.
ML: After watching Darren Sproles chew up the Indianapolis Colts, what will the Steelers do to contain him? Will the constant threat of the screen slow Pittsburgh's aggressive blitz packages?
JW: The Steelers play the screen very well and are expecting plenty of them. Willie Parker says there's no way Sproles will be his shifty self on the Heinz Field surface.
I'd be surprised if Sproles finishes the game in one piece, to tell you the truth. Don't take that as a sign of disrespect. I can say that because I know the Steelers respect Sproles a great deal.
DC Dick LeBeau
Gene J. Puskar/AP
JW: If the best minds in football can't exploit LeBeau, how could my simple self do so? Bryant McFadden is back at weak-side cornerback, so the Steelers are at full health with four proven corners and two outstanding safeties, plus full depth.
This will be difficult for the Chargers to win. They must rely on a ridiculous game plan for a concussed quarterback.
ML: What's the scoop on the Steelers special teams? Who are the players fans should watch?
JW: Santonio Holmes is getting used to the punt returner role and could break one. Gary Russell, their short-yardage running back, has become their stop-gap kick returner. He can get one to the 40-yard line if he gets great blocking.
The coverage units have been spectacular. There is a huge edge in punting for San Diego and a huge edge in place kicking for Pittsburgh.
Jim Wexell's new book, Steeler Nation: A Pittsburgh Team, An American Phenomenon, is available at PittsburghSportsPublishing.com.