Steelers Roster Report

Left tackle Marvel Smith did a good job on Dolphins All-Pro end Jason Taylor Sunday night because Taylor never got near rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But Smith had help.

"We were not going to let Jason Taylor be a factor in that game," coach Bill Cowher said. "We either had a tight end over there chipping him, we had a back chipping him, and we even had receivers chipping him. We were determined to not let him get too close. If he wanted to meet Ben, he could have met him after the game but he wasn't going to meet him during the game."

Linebacker Joey Porter had his best game with seven tackles and a sack in Miami.

"He played very well," Cowher said. "Joey has not played that poorly in the first two games. Certainly, he hasn't played poorly at all. I think he had some opportunities and he made some plays the other day. But from a production standpoint it certainly was his best day."

Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw came away impressed with QB Ben Roethlisberger's first start.

"He's pretty impressive," Bradshaw told James Brown on Sporting News Radio. "A lot of poise. Big kid, big arm. I'm very impressed. It looks good for my team that they have a guy, if they keep him healthy, looks like they got the real deal for the next 10 to 15 years."

Jeff Reed has made only 3 of his 6 field goal tries.

"I think Jeff needs to become a more consistent kicker," Cowher said. "I understand the condition of the field, but I think that he is a quality kicker. He has been somewhat inconsistent and he will be the first one to tell you that. We have to continue to have trust in him."

Stat Fact: 117 - The number of receptions Hines Ward will catch this season if he maintains his three-game pace.

Coaches Quote: "I think we will certainly be challenged this week with a team that has a lot more potential explosion, I think, than the one we just played." - Bill Cowher, after the Steelers beat Miami 13-3 and prepared to play Cincinnati.

SS Troy Polamalu, who had his first NFL interception last Sunday, leads the team with 27 tackles, including 18 solos.

CB Deshea Townsend not only leads the Steelers with two interceptions, he's tied for the lead with two passes defensed and ranks in a tie for second with 14 solo tackles. Townsend, a seven-year vet, did not become a starter until midway through last season.

Jerome Bettis has 12 carries after three games for 13 yards. That's the fewest carries and yards he has had after three games in his 13-year NFL career.

Duce Staley has 62 carries for 249 yards, the most he has had after three games in his eight-year career. That includes the 2000 season when he rushed for 201 yards in the third game.

QB Ben Roethlisberger ranks 3rd in the AFC in TD percent, 7.1, and 4th in the AFC in fourth-down passing with a 113.8 rating.

Play Book: Their running game finally kicked into gear in the mud in Miami and the Steelers want to get it going even more. They again will try to run, not only to take the pressure off their rookie quarterback, but because the Bengals are 31st in the league against the run. On defense, they will play it straight because they believe the Bengals can hurt them on the ground with Rudi Johnson and with their talented receivers.

Key Matchup: WR Chad Johnson vs. Steelers CB Chad Scott, who was getting picked on with what little the Dolphins had going for them in their passing game. ... Cincy RB Rudi Johnson vs. inside LB James Farrior, the team's top tackler last year and its best linebacker. ... LB Joey Porter, who had his first sack of the season in Miami, vs. Bengals tackle Levi Jones. ... Pittsburgh's revived ground game vs. No. 31 defense against the run.

Injury Report: LB Kendrell Bell continues to be listed as questionable on the injury list. Bell has not played since the first exhibition game. First, it was a shoulder injury, and he missed the past three games with a groin injury. Larry Foote started in Bell's place in the first three games. The only other Steelers on the injury list are quarterback Tommy Maddox (out, shoulder) and safety Mike Logan (questionable, hamstring). Logan plans to be ready to play.

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