Shoe On The Other Foot

And the turnovers are on the other team, writes Dale Lolley in his post Browns-Steelers notes column.

The shoe was on the other foot this time around.

Back in November, the injury-riddled Steelers took their third-string quarterback into Cleveland, and, eight turnovers later, walked away from a 20-14 defeat at the hands of the Browns, who didn't do anything special offensively in that game to deserve a win.

This time around, the Browns came to Pittsburgh with a third-string quarterback and the Steelers turned them over four times, did nothing special on offense, and won, 24-10.

* It's not all that surprising that the Steelers managed just 212 total yards and Ben Roethlisberger had just 134 yards passing when you consider Pittsburgh was playing without its top two receiving threats in terms of catches (Heath Miller) and yards (Mike Wallace).

Add to that an offensive line that had Doug Legursky and Doug Malecki at the guard positions and Ramon Foster at right tackle for the majority of the game, and you have a recipe for not a lot of offense.

Of course, that didn't stop the Heinz Field record-low crowd - not counting Pitt games - of just over 51,000 from booing the Steelers for running a draw on third-and-eight from their own 8 early in the fourth quarter while clinging to a 17-10 lead.

That run was stuffed, but the Browns were penalized for being offside. So on third-and-three, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass and was sacked for an eight-yard loss.

Maybe Roethlisberger should have looked for Leonard Pope in that situation.

* Seriously, this game featured Roethlisberger throwing touchdown passes to Pope and 35-year-old Plaxico Burress, with Malecki at guard and Josh Victorian playing most of the game at corner after Keenan Lewis figured out he couldn't play any more.

* As I watched Burress and Jerricho Cotchery line up with the offense at the start of the game, I couldn't help but think about this:

Prior to the 2011 season, the Jets did not re-sign Cotchery because they beat the Steelers out to sign Burress. Cotchery then signed with the Steelers instead.

Now, they are both with the Steelers and the Jets don't have any receivers anyone has ever heard of.

Funny how that works.

* The Steelers should thank Phil Taylor for waking them from their slumber in the second quarter with his cheap shot of Kelvin Beachum.

Actually, they might want to thank Legursky for starting the whole thing by diving at the legs of linebacker Craig Robertson. That seemed to fire the Browns up and, apparently, not being the brightest of bulbs, Taylor took his frustrations out on Beachum instead of Legursky, who was lined up inside with him.

* So if James Harrison is penalized for a helmet-to-helmet by the NFL this week, will it be another suspension or just a $50,000 fine, a la Ed Reed, who has more illegal hits in the past three seasons than Harrison, yet somehow just keeps getting fined instead of suspended.

I'm not for the suspension of any players for on-field plays - unless it's something that's done with an intent to injure - but the league should at least try to be consistent.

* If I'm the Steelers, I try to find a way to bring back Keenan Lewis, Casey Hampton and possibly Larry Foote.

Much of that will depend on what happens in the draft, but those three were key cogs in the defense and showed that they should at least be able to continue that in the near future - and in the case of Lewis, long term.

I would also approach James Harrison to see if he's willing to take a pay cut to stay here. Harrison played well enough down the stretch to still be a vital part of this defense.

On the other side of the ball, the team has to consider re-signing Max Starks or Ramon Foster, but can't afford both.

The early guess is that Foster would be the one to re-sign, since he'll be cheaper. But if the Steelers do that, it means they would likely part ways with Willie Colon.

It would have been nice to see Mike Adams play some left tackle Sunday to see if he's capable so the Steelers can make a decision with Starks. But they'll have to project that now.

I'd also re-sign Burress, who wants to play one more year. It's obvious that the young receivers don't have the respect for Cotchery that they did for Hines Ward - why would they?

But Burress, with his resume, can command that respect. He also showed Sunday that, with an offseason of working in this offense, he could be a threat.

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