CINCINNATI -- With the season-ending injury to Larry Foote, Lawrence Timmons switched inside positions and played the "buck" linebacker in the defense. Timmons not only wore the radio helmet, but he also set the front seven -- a role Foote performed.
Kion Wilson, Foote's replacement who was making his first NFL start, played the "mack" linebacker position.
Earlier in the week, coach Mike Tomlin indicated it wouldn't be a big deal if Timmons switched positions.
"Because he's calling the signals doesn't mean that he'll be playing buck," Tomlin said. "He's capable of calling signals from mack, like he did in that [Tennessee] football game."
Something to remember
The last time a Steelers team lost its first two games of the season, they rebounded to make the playoffs. But not before some wrenching events occurred.
The 2002 season began on a high note because the Steelers had appeared in the AFC championship game that January at home. New England upset them, but there were high hopes for 2002. Quarterback Kordell Stewart was coming into his own -- he made the Pro Bowl in 2001 and his teammates voted him their MVP after he helped lead them to a 13-3 record.
But things unraveled quickly in 2002 for both the Steelers and Stewart. Bill Cowher lost patience with Stewart and replaced him in the second half of the third game with Tommy Maddox, who helped lead them to a come-from-behind, 16-13 overtime victory against Cleveland at Heinz Field.
Maddox then took over as their starter. Later that season, Maddox was temporarily paralyzed when he was hit in a game at Tennessee. Both Maddox and the Steelers rebounded to go 10-5-1 and make the playoffs, where they lost in overtime at Tennessee.
Firmly installed as their starter, Maddox's talents convinced the coaches to change the offense to a more pass-oriented game.
It was disastrous. They finished 6-10 and wound up drafting Ben Roethlisberger the following April.
Another history lesson
The Steelers will play the Chicago Bears next Sunday night at Heinz Field. The Bears have two convincing victories this season, their first against the Bengals and then Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
The previous time the Bears played in Heinz Field, Jerome Bettis famously ran over linebacker Brian Urlacher in the snow for a touchdown on way to a 21-9 Steelers victory in 2005. It was their first of eight consecutive wins, four in the regular season that squeezed them into the playoffs as the AFC's final seed, and then four in the postseason that brought them their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
The game will be the last one in nearly a month at Heinz Field, where they next play Oct. 20 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Home away from home
Before Monday night, the Steelers had a better record against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium than they did at Heinz Field. The Steelers were 11-1 before Monday night in Cincinnati. Over their past 10 meetings in Heinz Field, the Steelers are 5-5.
As it turns out, the Steelers wasted a signing and some money on kicker Shayne Graham. They had to pay him $55,294 for his week of work in practice. He was inactive Monday night and likely will be released today. Shaun Suisham's hamstring, injured in pregame workouts opening day, healed enough for him to kick Monday night.
Other inactives were quarterback Landry Jones, running back Le'Veon Bell, defensive backs Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown, center Cody Wallace and tight end Heath Miller.
RB Jones gets start
Felix Jones started the game at halfback after Isaac Redman was injured on the opening kickoff. Redman was evaluated for a concussion but was cleared to play early in the second quarter and did.
Heavy baggage, perhaps
The official press box roster for the game listed Bengals linebacker James Harrison at 6 feet, 275 pounds.
Throughout Harrison's time with the Steelers, they listed him at 6-0, 242. The Bengals maybe weighed his suitcase, too.
• The Bengals, who were sackless in their opener, got their first of the season on the Steelers' first possession when Domata Peko and Carlos Dunlap converged on Roethlisberger for a 6-yard loss. Each was credited with half a sack.
• Until rookie Giovani Bernard scored on a 7-yard run in the final minute of the first quarter, the Steelers defense had not allowed a first-half touchdown in seven consecutive games dating to last season.
• Steelers wideout Antonio Brown has caught at least one pass in 42 games in a row.
• Among those in attendance, and requiring extra security because of it, was John Boehner, Speaker of the House of U.S. Representatives, an Ohio Republican and Bengals fan.
First Published September 17, 2013 5:15 AM