Steelers Notebook: Steelers-Bengals finale could be night game
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There's a good chance the Steelers' season finale Dec. 31 at Cincinnati will be shifted from its scheduled 1 p.m. start time to an 8 p.m. kickoff as part of the National Football League's flex schedule and NBC's "Sunday Night Football" coverage. The Steelers could find out about any such change as soon as tomorrow night.
Such a shift could upset plans of a large number of Steelers fans who traditionally make the trip to Cincinnati, one of the few trips this season easily negotiable by car.
If the kickoff time is changed, many Steelers fans would have to adjust or cancel New Year's Eve parties that might have been in the works for an extended period.
And the Steelers' plans?
"Right now, we have a game scheduled against the Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m. this Sunday," safety Troy Polamalu said. "That is the one and only game that has my focus."
The Steelers are 3-2 in Christmas Eve games since the NFL merger in 1970, winning the past two.
Last season, the Steelers rolled past Cleveland, 41-0, on Christmas Eve and, in 2000, the Steelers celebrated on the West Coast with a 34-21 win at San Diego.
The game tomorrow, however, will be the first one played here on Christmas Eve since that merger.
Rookie receiver Santonio Holmes needs 105 receiving yards to post the most by a rookie receiver under coach Bill Cowher since Troy Edwards accumulated 714 yards in 1999. Holmes has 610 yards on 40 catches for an average of 15.3 yards. Edwards' yardage came on 61 catches with an 11.7 average.
Baltimore outside linebackers coach Mike Pettine is a name that should ring a bell to anybody with an interest in Pennsylvania high school football. Before joining the Ravens in 2002, Pettine was a highly successful coach at William Tennent and North Penn High Schools. From 1997-2001 at North Penn, his teams won 45 games.
His father, Mike Sr., is one of six high school coaches in state history to amass 300 wins as the longtime coach at Central Bucks West.
The Steelers have won their past five home games against the Ravens. ... Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needs 144 yards passing to reach 8,000 in his brief career.
First Published December 23, 2006 12:00 am