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Old 09-05-2009, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Polamalu stays healthy through the preseason

Polamalu stays healthy through the preseason
By Scott Brown
Saturday, September 5, 2009

Safety Troy Polamalu got what he wanted out of the preseason simply by staying healthy. "I feel great," Polamalu said following the Steelers' 21-10 win over the Carolina Panthers last Thursday night. "We feel good as a defense, as a team." They should with Polamalu feeling as good as he does. Playing in all 16 games last season, Polamalu intercepted a career-high seven passes and made the Pro Bowl for a fifth consecutive year.

The broken toe that hampered starting center Justin Hartwig for most of training camp is no longer an issue. "My foot feels really good," he said. "I have no excuse for it." Hartwig returns for his second season as a starter on the offensive line. The line has just one new starter with Trai Essex replacing Darnell Stapleton at right guard. "The more time we get together, the more we are going to understand each other," Hartwig said of the offensive line. "We're always going to continue to be a work in progress, but I like where we are."

Running back Rashard Mendenhall said after the Steelers' final preseason game that he hasn't been told what his role will be this season. The Steelers would like for Mendenhall, a first-round pick in 2008, to emerge as a legitimate complement to starting running back Willie Parker. "All those things are played out on the field," Mendenhall said, "and as the season goes on, I'll kind of get a feel for what it's going to be."


10 -- Tackles rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis had in the Steelers' 21-10 win over the Panthers last Thursday night.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Images and text copyright 2009 by The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
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