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Steelers Lose Lloyd--and Game, 24-9

September 02, 1996|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The season couldn't have started much worse for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and not just because they were upset by the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-9, on Sunday.

Starting quarterback Jim Miller couldn't produce a touchdown, Kordell Stewart couldn't complete a pass and Mike Tomczak threw an interception late in the game that ensured the Steelers would lose their season opener.

But the worst thing was losing All-Pro linebacker Greg Lloyd for the year because of a torn tendon in his left knee. Last week, the Steelers learned defensive end Ray Seals is out for the season because of a rotator cuff injury, and the other defensive star in recent years, Kevin Greene, is with Carolina.

Also, linebackers Jason Gildon and Steven Conley suffered knee sprains and are expected to sit out some games.

Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell threw two touchdown passes and ran for 41 yards in turning in the kind of performance Cowher was hoping to get from Miller, whom he designated as the starter based on a gut feeling.

So who will start for the Steelers next Sunday, when they play host to the Baltimore Ravens?

"I'm not making any decisions on the quarterback at this time," Cowher said. "I'm not concerned with any one individual. My bottom line is concern with this football team."

Miller, a third-year pro who had played in three games, completed only three passes longer than 10 yards. In seven third-down situations, he completed only one pass--an eight-yarder to Stewart. He finished nine for 17 for 83 yards.

The Steelers had a chance to get back in the game with a first-and-goal at the five, but Miller bounced a pass to an open Andre Hastings in the end zone on third down.

"I don't point a finger at anybody but myself," Miller said. "I've got to make that play."

Stewart played the next series, missing badly on two attempts.

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