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Old 10-02-2009, 12:07 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Sweed makes no excuses for drop

Sweed makes no excuses for drop
By Scott Brown
Friday, October 2, 2009

A day after declining to speak to reporters, Steelers wide receiver Limas Sweed talked before practice Thursday.

He just didn't say a whole lot about his struggles catching the football, a problem that could get Sweed demoted for the Steelers' game against the visiting San Diego Chargers Sunday.

"No excuses -- gotta make the play," said Sweed, who dropped what would have been a 34-yard touchdown pass last Sunday. "This isn't rocket science."

The Steelers have gone to considerable lengths to try to solve what has been a recurring problem for Sweed, who is in his second season.

They sent him to an eye doctor during training camp last year, and that resulted in Sweed getting contact lenses. They have also had him see a sports psychologist.

The one thing the Steelers can't do is catch the ball for the enigmatic Sweed.

"I've seen him make plays in camp. I've seen him make plays in preseason games," Steelers wide receivers coach Randy Fichtner said. "We've got to work a little harder, concentrate a little harder, relax the mind.

"He's a great kid. He works his tail off. He's getting by people and getting open, and I can't coach that part. That part he has is a gift. That's why he's here."

When Sweed will get the opportunity to make up for his latest drop remains to be seen. Shaun McDonald could be the No. 4 wide receiver Sunday instead of Sweed, and the Steelers have only been dressing four wideouts for games.

While down, Sweed is not out, something he said he plans to prove to the Steelers.

"I know I can play in this league," Sweed said.

Polamalu's immediate family safe

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was born in California, but he said he has relatives and friends who have been affected by the deadly tsunami in the South Pacific. "I can say my immediate family, thank God, is safe, but it's like everybody's family has been affected,'' said Polamalu, who is of Samoan heritage.

Polamalu said he hasn't spent much time in American Samoa, one of the locations where the tsunami hit.

"It's two-fold,'' he said. "The good thing is it's not overdeveloped. Where my family actually lived and is from, it doesn't take much to re-build a hut.

"But there are also some parts that are Americanized. In that case, those people are hit the worst. Being directly involved with having family out there and being full-blooded Samoan myself, I'm going to do something to help.''

'Nothing crazy' for Ben

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he will receive his script today for his appearance as guest host on World Wrestling Entertainment's "Monday Night Raw'' in Wilkes-Barre next week. Roethlisberger said he plans to have fun but has no plans to wrestle.

"I'm not going to be coming off the top rope or anything,'' Roethlisberger said. "People are freaking out that I'm going to be doing something. I'm not going to be doing anything crazy. So relax.''

Injury report

Rookie fullback Frank Summers, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, underwent back surgery yesterday. Polamalu (knee), running back Willie Parker (turf toe) and rookie tight end David Johnson (ankle) missed practice again yesterday.

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