EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Steelers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS) at O.co Coliseum.
Raiders SCB Michael Huff vs. Steelers WR Mike Wallace
Tale of the tape
Huff: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, seventh season, Texas
Wallace: 6-foot, 199 pounds, fourth season, MississippiNo matter where Huff lines up Sunday -- at his regular free safety position or at a cornerback spot -- he is sure to run across the speedy Wallace. Especially if right corner Shawntae Spencer's sprained right foot keeps him out, as expected.RELATED: Are Ross, Huff the cavalry for Raiders CBs?
"Mike Huffs played inside and nickel, hes played corner in the past," said Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. "Were moving him around. Hes playing some of everything this week, like coach (Dennis) Allen said, and were trying the guys out, seeing what they can do, and when somebody goes down, its a great opportunity, see who rises."Theyre on the roster for a reason, so lets see who rises and well put them in positions where they've got to know where their help is, and thats the key. They've got to know where their help is and do their job on those plays."With Ron Bartell on the shortened IR with a broken shoulder blade and Spencer dealing with his foot, the Raiders only have four healthy cornerbacks in Pat Lee, Joselio Hanson, Phillip Adams and Coye Francies.So Huff, rumored to be making the move had Hue Jackson been retained, helping out at corner has some merits. Even if he struggled two years ago in Jacksonville in the slot, and against Pittsburgh, Wallace is seen by many as the fastest receiver in the NFL.RELATED: Where is Huff playing in the secondary?
Two years ago, Wallace averaged 21 yards per reception and caught 10 touchdown passes. Last season, he caught 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight TDs.He's been slowed by a tweaked groin thus far this year and still has nine receptions for 111 yards and two scores.As the No. 84 overall pick of the 2009 draft, Wallace was the 11th receiver taken (the Raiders' Darrius Heyward-Bey was the first, at No. 7)."He hasn't missed a beat when it comes to knowing what to do," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of Wallace. "He's making plays and he's just fine."Paging Huffmaybe.