Steelers Wednesday Notebook:

PITTSBURGH – James Harrison was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week, but the NFL apparently didn't like the way he went about it.

The league fined Harrison $5,000 for body-slamming Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young during the third quarter of the Steelers' 19-11 win Sunday.

In that game, Harrison had 11 tackles, including 2 sacks and a tackle-for-loss. He also forced 2 fumbles and recovered another. His slam of Young resulted in an 11-yard loss on a third-and-11 play, but Harrison was not penalized.

"I thought he was going to be hurt," Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith said of Young. "I saw his head hit the ground first, and I thought ‘Oh man.' So I looked at him and I went, ‘Are you all right?' He didn't say anything. He just kept squinching his eyes."

Young was OK, but what about Smith? He and Brett Keisel also went for a ride when Harrison lifted Young.

"It's unbelievable how strong he is," Smith said of Harrison. "I give him full and utter credit for lifting us all up and flipping us.

"Strong, strong man. It's unbelievable how strong he is."


While Harrison's 3 sacks lead the Steelers after two games, his 16 tackles are well off the pace being set by Lawrence Timmons. The Steelers' mack inside linebacker has 26 tackles. He made 15 tackles against the Titans.

"I think the game has slowed down for him a lot," said buck inside backer James Farrior. "And he's been in this system long enough where it's kind of built around him for him to make all of these plays that he's been making. He's been playing great. I think he understands the defense, he understands the schemes, he knows how offenses are going to attack him and try to take him out of the game, but he's been playing out of his mind right now."


Along with Harrison and Timmons, a third Player of the Week candidate was Troy Polamalu. The Steelers' strong safety intercepted a Young pass in the end zone in the first quarter, and late in the game made a spectacular dive over the line to tackle quarterback Kerry Collins for a 1-yard loss on an attempted quarterback sneak.

During ESPN's Monday Night Football game, Sports Science reported that the snap beat Polamalu's entrance into the neutral zone by one-tenth of a second, or a lightning bolt.


Casey Hampton and Max Starks returned to practice and are expected to play Sunday. … Rookie Jason Worilds missed the last game with a shoulder injury, but Worilds said the injury had more to do with his chest. He said the shoulder problems that plagued him during his early college years are well behind him. … NT Steve McLendon cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad. … The Steelers lead the series with the Buccaneers, 7-1. Their only loss occurred at Tampa Bay, 16-3, in 1998. … Tampa Bay free safety Tanard Jackson was suspended for the rest of the season by the NFL for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Behind him on the depth chart is rookie Cody Grimm, the son of Hall of Famer Russ Grimm.

Steel City Insider Top Stories