Tom Coughlin and Justin Tuck used the same word to describe how the Steelers treated the Giants' run defense. It wasn't a good word.

"We got mushed a little bit up front," Coughlin said. "Their big bodies knocked us back." Said Tuck: "They just mushed us a little bit."

Isaac Redman ran for 147 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries against the Giants. Most of those yards came on second efforts and after missed tackles. Coughlin said the defense missed 12 tackles. As for the middle of the defense, he called it "soft."

Said Tuck: "Most times, you'd rather just get your butt whupped up front and say, 'Well, I did my best and they still beat me.' We had some things that we could've easily corrected. I thought Pittsburgh . . . played the play longer than we did, and give Redman a lot of credit. He's one of those backs that just kept his feet churning and turned 1-yard gains into 6-yard gains.''

Blackburn missed

Coughlin didn't hesitate when asked if linebacker Chase Blackburn was missed. "Definitely," he said.

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The Giants might have to miss him some more. Blackburn said he will try to push his hamstring rehab and return to practice this week, but he has not tested the muscle at 100-percent speed and did not seem optimistic about facing the Bengals on Sunday.

Giant steps

Safety Will Hill's four-game suspension has ended and he is eligible to practice with the team . . . Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) was a surprise inactive Sunday, but Coughlin said he did not have a setback. "Just didn't feel like after a couple of days of practice that he could do the things he had to do to perform in the role that we wanted him to be in," he said.