Coach Bill Cowher did not rule out making personnel changes on an offensive line that has struggled the past three games, including last Sunday in a 23-17 overtime home loss to the Jaguars. The Steelers managed just 73 rushing yards on 30 attempts, while allowing two sacks. First-year starter Max Starks is adjusting to the speed and power of the NFL game at right tackle. The top backup to Starks is 11-year vet Barrett Brooks.
Asked if he was disappointed in QB Tommy Maddox's post-game comments Sunday, Cowher answered quickly.
"I'm not involved with that," he said. "I addressed the team about the game on Monday. We have a 24-hour rule. I can tell you that I used all 24 hours. ... We have to move on."
Maddox voiced his displeasure with the crowd for booing and hinted that he didn't believe he had a bad game after Sunday's loss.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis forbade his team to do one-on-one interviews with out-of-town media this week, unless it is in person. WR Chad Johnson is scheduled to speak on a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters today.
Cowher said WR Hines Ward, who missed the Jags game with a hamstring injury, is improving.
"He's coming along fine. We'll monitor him this week and hopefully he'll be ready to go."
Sunday's game at Cincinnati features the NFL's highest-rated passers in the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (123.8) and the Bengals' Carson Palmer (113.6).
The Steelers haven't lost consecutive games since Nov. 2, 2003, a span of 29 games. They'll attempt to win a club-record 10th consecutive road game Sunday.