LONDON -- While several of his players shuddered at the thought of teams playing eight games a year across the Atlantic Ocean, Steelers president Art Rooney II said it is still too early to decide if the NFL should consider placing a franchise in London.
"It's still something we're exploring," Rooney said Friday after coach Mike Tomlin and several players took part in a morning news conference at a London hotel. "There are challenges to it, but this will be an interesting experience for me to really evaluate that and see how it affects the team and see if it's something that can be done eight times a year."
This is the first year the NFL will play two regular-season games in London. Rooney said the league might add another in 2014 and play three games at Wembley Stadium -- the site of the game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
He was asked if the travel, time change and logistical planning were worth it for just one game.
"We'll see. It's going to take time to evaluate that. It's a process of evaluating whether we can keep doing this. London is a great city, so obviously it would be a great market to have a franchise. But certainly there are challenges, schedule-wise, that we're still trying to digest."
LaMarr Woodley, who complained he got only two hours of sleep on the overnight flight, was asked what he thought about a team that would have to make eight such trips a year if a franchise was placed in London.
"It would be rough," Woodley said. "I'm lucky I'm in Pittsburgh. I don't have to worry about that."
No worries about Miller
Tomlin said tight end Heath Miller, who was limited in practice Thursday, is fine and had no setback after making his return from offseason ACL surgery.
Tomlin said he purposely limited Miller's workload in practice Thursday because he practiced in pads on Wednesday.
"It wasn't in response to anything negative in any way," Tomlin said. "I wanted him to [practice in] pads on our padded practice day on Wednesday and wanted to give him the opportunity to recover from it on Thursday."
A sight for sore eyes
Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell is scheduled to make his NFL debut against the Vikings, barring any last-minute setback, and several of his offensive linemen are eager to see him in the lineup.
Tackle Marcus Gilbert and guard David DeCastro said they saw enough of Bell in training camp to know he can help their ailing running game.
"Everybody had their eyes on him and they were like, wow, this kid is going to be very special," Gilbert said. "He did it all. He could block, he could run, he could hit the hole, he's not scared. He wouldn't look to get out of bounds. He'll run you over. Those kinds of running backs are fun to block for."
Bell, the team's No. 2 draft choice, did not play in the preseason opener because of a knee injury and was involved in the first five plays of the second preseason game, running four times for 9 yards. But he tore a ligament in his foot on that series and hasn't played since.
"We ran live a bunch so you saw some really great spurts from him," DeCastro said, referring to training camp. "We saw him do some great things. He's real physical, he's not afraid to hit people, he's a good reader [of blocks]. He's fast, too, but he still plays like a big back."
Ike across the pond
Ike Taylor started laughing several times in a group interview session after he was asked a question by British journalists.
Before he would even answer the first question, Taylor smiled and said, "Man, I love that accent. Say it again."
When two other British writers asked him questions, Taylor again started to smile and said, "That accent is killing me. I'm loving it."
When Taylor was asked if he might pick up the British accent during his stay, the cornerback shot back, "Shoot me a few slang words. I like to be hip with the young guys on the team."
So a couple British writers told Taylor to use the word "jiffy" for when he's in a hurry and to refer to the elevator in the hotel as a "lift."
Taylor then said, "You know what I did see when I was at the airport? We call it restrooms, y'all call it toilets."
When a British writer told him he can refer to a toilet as a "loo," Taylor said, "A loo? A jiffy loo? We have those in America. That's where you get your oil changed."
The room broke up.
Gerry Dulac: firstname.lastname@example.org; twitter: @gerrydulac. First Published September 28, 2013 4:00 AM