Steelers notebook: In and out of N.J. on same day
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Though NFL teams and players are notorious creatures of habit, several Steelers shrugged at the idea that traveling to New Jersey on game day -- an alteration necessary in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy -- would be a distraction.
The Steelers changed travel plans because the hotel they booked in New Jersey did not have power. The team will fly in Sunday morning and leave after the game.
"I don't think it will affect us at all. It'll kind of take us back to high school days. The day you play on you travel, you go play and you leave and go right back home," linebacker LaMarr Woodley said, adding that Sunday will be a bit more like the schedule for a home game.
Linebacker Larry Foote agreed.
"Instead of driving [on Interstate] 279 to the stadium we'll be on the plane, and it's just a little longer. That's all it is."
"I think it's exciting, actually, to travel on the same day," guard Ramon Foster said.
Brett Keisel put things into perspective:
"I wouldn't say it's tough. What [the storm victims] are going through is tough. Not having power, not being able to go to and from work. They're really fighting through it. This is minor compared to what they're doing."
Comments made Thursday by Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck caused a minor stir in the Steelers locker room.
"I hope we get some holding calls because they have gotten away with murder," Tuck told reporters Thursday. "They've done a very good job protecting Ben [Roethlisberger] -- they don't hold on every play. But we've seen a whole lot of it."
Guard Willie Colon took umbrage.
"We're getting away with murder? Don't get me started. I'm trying to behave. I don't want no trouble. That's his opinion. I know four holding calls [against the Steelers] don't get you away with murder. Damn sure happened [against] Philly. I don't know what he's looking at, but we'll have that conversation Sunday."
Foster laughed it off.
"I guess we got the refs on our side," Foster said. "He's entitled to his opinion. You can ask Brett Keisel -- all offensive lineman hold."
Keisel actually agreed.
"Every single offensive lineman holds. It's part of the game. It really is. Coach [John Mitchell] teaches us not to get held," Keisel said. "I figure every single O-lineman in the world holds. So I could say that about everybody."
Colon said that if Tuck was attempting to work the refs through the media, he should try another tactic.
"If that's [the case], then that's a sad way to go about it. They're a great defense. They have a great resume, they got awesome players. I hope they don't have to go that route to draw the ref's attention."
Woodley participated in practice Friday and is likely to start Sunday.
"It's looking good," Woodley said of the strained right hamstring that has nagged him this season. "I felt good out there in practice, I ran pretty hard. It felt good."
Woodley missed game in Tennessee because of the same injury and aggravated it last week against Washington.
Issac Redman is the likely starter this week in what has been something of a musical-chairs backfield for the Steelers in 2012.
Redman began the season as the starter, but missed the past two games with an ankle injury. Jonathan Dwyer stepped in to start and ran for more than 100 yards in each of the past two games.
Dwyer hurt a quad muscle last week, and is doubtful Sunday, as is Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall missed the first three games of this year with a lingering knee injury, then started against Philadelphia and Tennessee but left the Titans game early after his Achilles was injured. He has missed the past two games.
Safety Ryan Clark left the Washington game with a mild concussion, but is cleared to play and probable to start Sunday.
Saftey Troy Polamalu (calf), tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) are out.
First Published November 3, 2012 12:16 am