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Old 01-07-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: No caution planned for Big Ben

Steelers Notebook: No caution planned for Big Ben
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No concessions. That's the point coach Mike Tomlin drilled home tersely at his news conference yesterday when asked if he would be more cautious with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Sunday.

In a word, "No," Tomlin answered.

Asked the same thing later in his conference, Tomlin added two more words to his answer: "No, I'm not."

Roethlisberger practiced for the first time Monday since he was carted off Heinz Field on a stretcher just before the half of the Steelers' 31-0 victory against Cleveland Dec. 28. He was diagnosed with a low-grade concussion and said he's fine.

Yesterday, Tomlin made it evident that the topic is now closed.

"Ben is going to be fine," he said.

So, too, are they all. Tomlin listed no one as injured yesterday, saying "We've got a clean bill of health. It's the first time in a long time."

Safety Ryan Clark (dislocated shoulder) and linebacker James Harrison (hip pointer) were held out of the season finale, but practiced Monday, as did everyone else, including slightly injured fullback Cary Davis and linebacker James Farrior.

"Those are the guys that had circumstances that the off week, the bye, worked in our favor," Tomlin said.

Not ruling out Tomlinson
Word keeps coming from San Diego that halfback LaDainian Tomlinson is not likely to play Sunday. Tomlin thinks otherwise.

"Tomlinson is an awesome back. We're preparing for him. We expect him to play. I'm not familiar with him personally, but guys like him find a way to play. I think if we prepare anything other than to see him, it wouldn't be smart."

Despite a severe groin injury, Tomlinson played Saturday in the wild-card playoff against Indianapolis. He left the game for good midway through the second quarter.

"Guys like him defy the odds. They do. And that's why he is who he is. He's not like the rest of us. He's not normal. I anticipate him being there. That way we're not surprised when he is."

Moving on
Among the reasons the Steelers did not score a touchdown despite 410 yards in total offense against San Diego Nov. 16 were their 115 yards on 13 penalties. The Chargers had two for 5 yards.

In his news conference after the game, Tomlin opened by saying he would take questions "provided none of them are about the officials." Yesterday, he said he did not address those penalties with his players.

"I don't wait for things to happen to address things with the team. We realize that if we're going to be good, what we're capable of being, particularly this weekend, the Steelers can't beat the Steelers. We can't be a highly penalized bunch. Hopefully, it won't even be anywhere close to that this time around. If it is, we're going to have problems."

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