- Jerome Bettis started at RB and gained 10 yards on 48 carries, but it appears Duce Staley will win the nod to start the season. ... RG Kendall Simmons' season-ending knee injury may have opened a roster spot for G Jim Jones, who spent the past two seasons on Baltimore's practice squad. ... Oliver Ross has put a stranglehold on the starting ROT spot. ... NT Chris Hoke is playing well and, with Kendrick Clancy out with a knee injury, is winning the backup job to Casey Hampton.
- QB Tommy Maddox is showing why the Steelers will stick with him as their starter at least one more year despite the presence of Ben Roethlisberger. Maddox has been nearly flawless in camp and in games. He led Pittsburgh to touchdowns on two of three drives against Houston Saturday night, then bowed out. He completed 4 of 7 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
- QB Ben Roethlisberger, who threw his first pro touchdown pass in the first preseason game, threw his first interception Saturday against Houston. Former Steeler cornerback Jason Simmons picked him off. ... CB Ricardo Colclough has moved into a spot on the dime passing defense, replacing veteran S Mike Logan. ... C Drew Caylor, a sixth-round pick, may earn a roster spot as the team's new long snapper. ... LB Nathaniel Adibi, drafted in the fifth round, is struggling to learn the position; he played DE at Virginia Tech. ... WR Zamir Cobb, undrafted, broke his ankle Saturday night.
- Injury Report: OT Kendall Simmons is out for the season with a torn ACL. Over the past 14 months, Simmons has had surgeries on a shoulder and both elbows and been diagnosed with diabetes. He was their first-round draft pick in 2002. ... LB Clark Haggans had the pins removed from his right hand, came off the PUP list and practiced lightly last week. ... LB Kendrell Bell did not play in the second preseason game because of a minor shoulder injury. ... CB Chad Scott (abdominal strain) returned to practice last week and played for the first time. ... S Chris Hope (shoulder) also played in his first game.
Notes: Myron Cope, entering his 35th season as the Steelers color analyst, has missed the first two exhibition games because of lingering laryngitis. He had minor throat surgery this summer and fought through a case of pneumonia.
"Hopefully he'll get back in a week or two," coach Bill Cowher said last week.
- -- Coordinator Dick LeBeau wants his defense to play more aggressively, but they have just one sack through two games, that from backup nose tackle Chris
Hoke. Pittsburgh's 35 sacks last season were the fewest under Cowher.
- -- OLB Alonzo Jackson has played poorly through two games as the starter on the left side. He's there because of Clark
Haggans' broken hand. Haggans will return soon. Jackson has shown no ability to cover receivers and has put on no pass rush. He was their second-round draft choice last year.
- Quote The "Bus" "I have a little pep in my step every night. It felt good to get some work in." RB Jerome Bettis, asked if he had pep in his step as he ran 10 times for 48 yards Saturday against Houston.