Insider Only Practice Report: Number of players miss practice

Mike Tomlin’s main goal this week is to keep his players focused on the main prize. Tomlin stressed that at yesterday’s press conference and the Steelers will practice this week like they have a game on Sunday. The Steelers went through a normal workout today, and will do the same on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before they depart for Tampa Bay on Monday.
In today’s practice a number of players were out with injuries and others took the day off.
Injured players WR Hines Ward (Knee Sprain) ,Lt Max Starks (knee), RB Mewelde Moore (ankle), Patrick Bailey (Hamstring), C Justin Hartwig (Knee) did not practice.

Veterans Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Smith, Willie Parker and Deshea Townsend also did not practice. All four are not injured but Roethlisberger was in the facility getting treatment on his back today.
The coaching staff’s message for the defense is not to over-pursue. That is where the Steelers could get beat by the Cards with their trick plays.
In Thursdsay’s practice, the Steelers will begin working on their game plan.
Mewelde Moore should return to practice by Friday. The team may hold him out for one more day.
The coaching staff did a lot of work with Limas Sweed today. Most notably the fly route and fade routes in the end zone. Byron Leftwich threw about 10 deep balls to Sweed in practice today. Sweed could be very important in the Super Bowl because Ward is not going to be100%.
Nate Washington is getting a lot of reps in Hines Ward’s position. Washington ran a few wrong routes through the course of the AFC Title Game. Washington has admitted it is a tough adjustment because Ward runs a lot of crossing patterns and shorter routes.
Speaking of Byron Leftwich, look for the Bears to pursue him during the off-season.
Something that isn’t getting talked about a lot right now is LaMarr Woodley has six sacks in three career post-season games. Woodley claims he wasn’t 100% down the stretch due to a lingering calf injury. With four sacks in two games he is clearly close to 100% now.
Hines Ward on his playing status: “I don’t like missing games, and I got two weeks to prepare,” Ward said in the locker room Wednesday. “It’s the Super Bowl, and I won’t miss the Super Bowl.”
Cardinals update: The Cardinals are thin at outside linebacker. According to the Arizona Rebpublic, Defensive end/outside linebacker Travis LaBoy suffered a strained biceps tendon in the NFC Championship game, but he’s going to try to play in Super Bowl XLIII, coach Ken Whisenhunt said today at practice. According to the paper, ‚ÄúLaBoy will work with the team’s medical staff this week to find a brace that will stabilize the injury and allow him to play. His availability is a key for the Cardinals, who are thin at the outside linebacker position. Clark Haggans was placed on injured reserve in late December because of a foot injury‚Äù….

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