Friday’s NFL roundup: Steelers call on Toussaint
Fitzgerald Toussaint, a second-year player from Michigan, will start at running back for the Steelers in Saturday night’s playoff game against the Bengals after DeAngelo Williams was ruled out.
Toussaint, who was active the final five games of the season, never has started an NFL game. He said Williams has been a strong influence on him all week and expects that will continue through game day.
“He’s going to stay in my ear and do the things he’s been doing all year,” Toussaint said. “And I’m going to listen to him.”
Jordan Todman, a five-year veteran who has 472 career rushing yards, will serve as Toussaint’s backup. Todman joined the Steelers in September, but was passed by Toussaint on the depth chart late in the season. He was inactive for the final five games.
“They’re both pretty well-rounded guys,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “(Toussaint) is the guy, but we have to make sure we give him a physical and mental break here and there throughout the game.”
Toussaint spent the first 10 weeks of the season on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster when Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State) was lost for the season with a knee injury. He has 42 yards on 18 carries, including 24 yards on 12 carries last week when he played the final three quarters after Williams was injured.
Toussaint has tried to keep this week as normal as possible.
“It’s like any other week,” he said. “I go out there and prepare hard and hopefully good things come out of that. I feel confident going into every game as long as I have a good preparation week.”
Coaching, GM chatter
The Chargers gave beleaguered coach Mike McCoy a one-year extension through 2017.
... The Giants interviewed Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase for their opening.
... Doug Marrone became the third former coach to interview for the Dolphins job.
... The Buccaneers announced they will interview Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin for their vacant coaching position.
... The Titans interviewed Chris Polian of the Jaguars and Jon Robinson of the Buccaneers in their search for a new general manager.
Raiders star All-Pro ... twice
Khalil Mack’s versatility and relentlessness earned him selection at two positions on the All-Pro Team, an NFL first.
The second-year Raiders defensive end and outside linebacker drew enough support from a panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league to make the squad both spots.
Others, including Houston’s J.J. Watt last year, have been chosen first team at one position and second at another. Watt was a unanimous pick at defensive end for this season’s team, as was Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.
“I do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m a team guy,” said Mack, who had 151/2 sacks (five in one game), behind only Watt in the league. “Whether it’s dropping in coverage or rushing the passer. I can do either. I think they (voters) saw that.”
Carolina, with an NFL-best 15-1 record, had the most All-Pros with six, led by quarterback Cam Newton.