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Insider Only Wednesday Practice Notebook: Ben feeling much better than he did a week ago

By Dale Grdnic
PITTSBURGH — The Jacksonville Jaguars have been a physical opponent for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expected nothing less when the two teams meet Sunday at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field.
But if the Steelers’ offensive line plays as well as it did last week against the Tennessee Titans, Roethlisberger shouldn’t be hit too much.
“I felt a lot better this Monday than I felt the week before, but Mondays and Tuesdays usually are days I feel it the most,” Roethlisberger said. “But I feel really good this week. I think I only got hit the one time, on the sack, but I found a bruise on my leg and don’t know how I got it.
“But I feel pretty good now. (As far as the pain goes), when it’s your feet that makes it tough because you’re always on them. When it’s your left shoulder or something like that, you feel it when you get hit. But I’ll continue to wear a modified shoe this week, and then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Roethlisberger wore a larger left shoe with a brace in the sole to keep his left foot from bending.
Dancing With The Steelers
Steelers wideout Hines Ward scored two touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans last week and had a different celebratory dance after each score.
Mike Wallace hauled in a 40-yard bomb to close out the scoring for the Steelers in that game, but all he did was hand the ball to the referee afterward. Expect that to change if Wallace reaches the end zone this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I’m too cool for that, just too cool,” Wallace said when asked why he didn’t emulate Ward. “But I’m going to give you all something this week after I score. Hopefully, I’ll score and get a chance to do something.
“But you have to stay tuned. And I have to keep it a secret, because it won’t be a surprise if I tell you what I’m going to do. But it’s going to be something good, so look out for it this week.”
Ward didn’t seem to be too impressed with Wallace’s prediction.
“Mike is cooler than a Polar Bear’s toenail, but I just do it for Dancing With The Stars people,” Ward said. “I miss all those guys, but I still watch the show every Monday. And doing an end-zone dance is a good way for me to show appreciation for everything they did for me. … And it’s a way for me to have some more fun out there. I’m not a dancer.
“I never danced a day in my life before that show, but everybody asks me to dance now. … As far as anybody else’s end-zone dance, I would just tell them to be careful. We don’t need any 15-yard penalties or guys getting fined for whole choreographed routines. I just barely did a little bit for a shout out to the Dancing With The Stars people.”
Getting Better
Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton did not practice Wednesday, but he expects to be back later this week.
“I feel pretty good this week, so I hope to get a practice in this week and play against Jacksonville this Sunday,” Hampton said.
The Steelers didn’t miss Hampton much against the Titans, because backup Chris Hoke played his best game and improved to 16-1 as a starter. The only loss was at Oakland in 2006 when Roethlisberger threw four interceptions with two pick sixes, so “he doesn’t even count that,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior said.

About The Author

Dale Grdnic

TIOPS Steelers Beat Writer

Dale Grdnic is a contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports, covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Football. Dale has covered the Pittsburgh Sports scene for over 15 years with various publications

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