Aaron Smith in full pads, but probably won’t play in playoff opener

Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith was back in full pads on Tuesday at the Steelers’ practice, which some of his teammates saw as a positive step toward getting back on the field for the first time since suffering a torn triceps in October.

“I think he needed to remember how to put his helmet back on and tie his shoes,” Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said. “To get him back on the football field running around a little bit was a step in the right direction.”

But it’s only a small step: Smith, who didn’t talk to reporters, mostly watched practice and left early, and he isn’t expected to play in the Steelers’ AFC divisional playoff game on January 15.

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (Achilles) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (abdomen) sat out practice but expect to be on the field in the Steelers’ playoff opener.

18 responses to “Aaron Smith in full pads, but probably won’t play in playoff opener

  1. still wont be ready in two weeks?? i thought this (the playoffs) was the reason we kept the roster spot open. that means we have to take care of business in our first game and keep our fingers crossed that he’ll be available for the AFCCG.

  2. Smith is nearly expendable with Ziggy Hood starting to shine. He needs to get back ASAP and remind us how much better the “D” is with him! Aaron Smith is by far one of my favorite players, he keeps his mouth shut and lets his play speak for him. I am trying to remember the last time he ever did anything really poorly…

  3. Great player and I hope he makes it back but don’t forget Ziggy Hood has looked real good in the last 4 games.

  4. Aaron Smith is the best 3-4 defensive end over the last decade, bar none. The guy is a beast, always gets pressure, can’t be blocked and can’t be run on hardly.
    Total beast and the AFC North knows it. Ziggy Hood is pretty good, but he is no Aaron Smith. If Smith comes back, the Steelers might just do it.

  5. The Steelers have a chance to get to the AFC Championship without him, but we need him to play against the Patriots. His not being there (coupled with ref bias) is the reason they lost the 1st matchup.

  6. Great news, along with the improved play of Ziggy Hood. The Steelers are peaking at the right time. If Smith can make it back for the New England game ….. it’ll pay huge dividends!

  7. Overrated….Overrated The Steelers went 12-4 Led the league in fewest rushing yards allowed 64.1 and led the league in sacks. Smith sure was missed.

  8. #
    blitzman67 says: Jan 5, 2011 10:31 AM

    Overrated….Overrated The Steelers went 12-4 Led the league in fewest rushing yards allowed 64.1 and led the league in sacks. Smith sure was missed.

    That is the point. The Steelers missed the all-time record by 1.+ yards per game. With Smith, the record was theirs. Yes, he is that good.

    Besides, he constantly collapses the pocket when pass rushing. You should watch a few games when he plays. Really.

  9. WHAT?! Oh come on ….the whole reason he was kept on the roster was for the playoff run – that is what we (Steeler fans) have been told since he got injured and maintained a roster spot.

    If he can’t go for the 1st game – than why put him in the 2nd game. YES I realize he is a big factor with his outstanding play …but can we really be sure he will be ready to play in the AFC Championship game – if we get thru our 1st Div game??? Will he add or subtract from the D at that point ….?? Due to his age and this being a 2nd serious season-ending injury how can we be certain he is going to make a difference. With Hood and the D starting to jell – do we than take time away from the unit’s play by bringing back Smith in the 2nd playoff game?!? I don’t know doesn’t seem fluid or right to me … I really appreciate and respect what a competitor Smith is but ….when Woodson went out with an injury back in ’95 – he got the roster spot left open for him and than he did come back for the playoffs. The team could use an extra O lineman if Smith isn’t available for 1st game !!!!

  10. Again Stats speak for themselves. Our Defense did not miss him at all. Pass Rush? He is 35 and slow. We led the league in sacks without him.

  11. blitzman67 says:
    Jan 5, 2011 12:38 PM
    Again Stats speak for themselves. Our Defense did not miss him at all. Pass Rush? He is 35 and slow. We led the league in sacks without him

    You’ve GOT to be kidding.

    I can show you stats that indicate the Steelers do just fine without Polamalu too — does that mean the team doesn’t miss him when he’s out?

    Anyone who doesn’t realize how dominant a player Smith is, should start following the Bengals instead.

  12. See there you go attempting to compare A 35 year old DL to Troy Polamalu. Troy is Probably the most dominate Defensive player in the game. He won us 2 games on his own this year. This is why i say Smith is OVERRATED!

    I think Tyrone Carter tried to replace TP when injured. The outcome was not good!I watch games and call them as i see them. I can take my Homer glasses off.

  13. blitzman67, are you trying to tell Steeler fans that right now, a healthy Aaron Smith is not as good as a healthy Ziggy Hood? No disrepect to Ziggy, but come on, man. Did you see the way Aaron was playing before he got hurt? Having Aaron ready for the AFC Championship and Super Bowl is great news, if he will be ready.

  14. @blitzman67 – nice point. Polamalu does seem to be the one guy we can’t do without …Carter tried and didn’t get it done.

    Does anybody doubt that Troy (when injured) would have missed Sanchez in the Jets game when Allen (in Troy’s place) blitzed but ‘missed’ a sack ….that drive resulted in a TD for the Jets.
    Or back a few years would Troy have missed Garrard on that scramble for a 1st down in the wildcard game – which Tyrone did miss in the open field. That 1st down led to time being wasted and a FG that put the Jaguars ahead (we lost).

    NOW our team set a franchise record for rushing yards allowed (avg.) without Aaron – I want him back as well. But he was suppose to be ready for the playoffs. And if our D line is playing well as a unit – don’t disrupt it by bringing Aaron back in the Championship game if he isn’t ready to play in this first upcoming playoff game.

    The Steelers as a unit need another O lineman or Def. Back because they got to look forward to a Colts or Pat’s playoff game. Either position player will be of use. Not a questionable all star that has been on injured reserved for 80% of the season.

    Who here doesn’t realize that we will be drafting more D linemen – and …..yup Aaron won’t be back. [sorry Aaron – and thanks]

  15. Oh and what about the Coach of the Year award.
    Anybody here think Patriot’s would be 14-2 if Brady missed 4 games to start the season. Um … absolutely not.

    Moss traded away. But we had already traded Holmes (SB MVP) prior to season start. Pat’s didn’t have Mankins. But we lost 2 starting O linemen before/start of season. Ty Warren big D guy for Patriot’s lost for season. We lost Aaron Smith after just 4 games. Pat’s lost starting Kicker – we had to cut our Kicker due to bad performance. Steelers lost starting punter – Pat’s have a new punter.

    We love Big Ben – but nobody is going to mistake him with Tom Brady. The Patriots begin & end with Brady. Tomlin and Steelers proved they can survive and win without Ben (short term).

    So who should be Coach of the Year ….not Bellicheck and to be honest not Tomlin. I would say Falcons – Smith. Eagels – Reid. Bucs – Morris. Or even Bears – Smith.

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