Yes, it'll be great to have Clark - who sat out the opener due to a sickle cell trait that flares up at high altitude - back for the home opener against the Jets. And Harrison's aching left knee was good enough to work out on Monday, leaving open the possibility the four-time Pro Bowl player could suit up for the first time since January.
Rapoport: Ranking Week 1 games
Ian Rapoport provides a pecking order of Week 1 contests, as well as storylines to follow in each matchup. More ...
Good news to be sure. Just not a cure-all.
"Obviously, those guys are capable of helping us," Tomlin said. "They're quality veteran players. They know how to play and, specifically in Ryan's case, not only his play but his communication and leadership. That remains to be seen and we're not going to assume anything. What we are going to do is focus on the healthy guys and get them prepared to play and, ultimately, expect them to play on the acceptable level."
"The reality is that we didn't play well enough post-snap," Tomlin said. "Forget about whether or not they huddle between plays, we've got full control over how we play once the ball is snapped and it wasn't up to snuff in many instances."
There were bright spots defensively, particularly inside linebacker Larry Foote. The 11-year veteran moved into a starting role after the Steelers released James Farrior in the offseason and Foote responded with eight tackles, including a sack. Linebackers Chris Carter and Jason Worilds played capably while filling in for Harrison, with Worilds providing a sack of his own after missing the entire preseason while recovering from wrist surgery.
The Steelers could certainly use him on Sunday against the Jets (1-0). New York exploded for 48 points while whipping Buffalo in its opener even with new acquisition Tim Tebow playing in a limited role. Tebow lit up Pittsburgh while beating the Steelers in the playoffs last winter as quarterback for the Broncos. He's firmly behind starter Mark Sanchez in New York, though Tomlin warned the Jets just showed "the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to their plans for the versatile Tebow this season.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press