Game Day Notebook

Smith placed on IR; the Carter Family; McFadden's 'little brother'; more.

The Steelers placed defensive end Aaron Smith on injured reserve for the third consecutive season. It was his fourth significant injury in the past five seasons.

Smith, 35, was in his 13th season with the Steelers and has been a cornerstone of their defensive line. But injuries have dogged him since late in the 2007 season, and foot sprain has caused him to miss the last two games this season.

To replace Smith on the roster, the Steelers signed DE Corbin Bryant off the practice squad. Bryant is an undrafted rookie out of Northwestern and he'll back up Smith's replacement, Ziggy Hood, at left defensive end.

The Steelers are temporarily strapped at the position since even the emergency defensive end, nose tackle Chris Hoke, is doubtful for today's game with a neck injury.

Smith could be looking at the end of his illustrious career, but he does have one year left on his contract. The Steelers extended and restructured Smith's contract earlier this month in order to create room under the salary cap and sign Max Starks.


With James Harrison out and Jason Worilds questionable for today's game, rookie fifth-round pick Chris Carter will not only play special teams for the Steelers, but he could see the field as a blind-side pass-rusher.

And that would make it all the better to beat his brother, David, the backup nose tackle for the Cardinals.

The two brothers played against each other in college once. Chris's Fresno State team beat David's UCLA team in 2008. Both were drafted this season, with Chris going in the fifth round and David in the sixth. Chris said neither of his parents was much of an athlete.

"Neither one of them has an athletic bone in their body," Carter said. "They never played a sport. But the thing is our parents were real strict on us. They never let us start a sport and quit it – ever – even if we wanted to."

The Carters raised their boys in the hard-scrabble neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles, which was no small feat.

"That's why we had to be real close," Carter said. "Because we were in a rough neighborhood growing up we weren't always allowed to go everywhere with our friends. Sad to say a lot of them aren't doing the things that we're doing right now, but I'm happy we were able to make something successful out of the situation."


Bryant McFadden spent his childhood in South Carolina being raised by his grandmother, whose house was the central location for family reunions. That's how Bryant met younger cousins Walter McFadden and Patrick Peterson.

Walter is a rookie cornerback with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Patrick is a rookie cornerback with the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, Patrick is one of the plums of the entire Cardinals organization. He was the fifth overall pick of the 2011 draft and is a starting cornerback who very well could be assigned to follow Mike Wallace around the field this afternoon.

McFadden calls both of his cousins "my little brothers."

"He was a lot smaller than me, but we developed a strong relationship," McFadden said of Peterson.

Check that: Peterson used to be a lot smaller than McFadden, who tells the story of going to see Peterson play for the first time as a junior in high school back in 2006.

"I was a Parade All-American and everything and he wanted to accomplish all the goals I did," McFadden said. "So during our bye week I went home and saw him play for the first time on varsity. And I was like, ‘Man.' He was about 205 playing corner and returning kicks. I knew instantly that he was going to be something special. The only thing I worked on with him was his grades. I stressed to him keeping academically sound. But he went on to be a Parade All-American, Defensive Player of the Year, and everything else was history."

Has McFadden dropped any hints to Peterson, such as the fact that Wallace is kind of fast?

"I didn't have to. The tape speaks for itself," McFadden said. "One thing about him, he's very, very confident and he feels he can run and cover with the best of them. He's prepared. He's fired up. I told him ‘Don't think we're coming in there to play around.' It was just some friendly trash-talking. But I'm excited. There are three of us from the same family in the NFL. It's a blessing."


* Steelers special teams captain Arnaz Battle on Coach Mike Tomlin saying the Cardinals often use "gadgets" on special teams:

"Actually, watching film, I haven't seen any trick plays."

* Steelers linebacker James Farrior on former teammate and current Cardinals linebacker Clark Haggans: * Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward on whether he needs to keep his head on a swivel with Joey Porter playing on the other side:

"Oh, no question. He would love nothing more. He would hit me and pick me up and smile at me. He would love that. He wants to hit me just because he wants to hit me – and vice versa."

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