Polamalu says he's close to return
Steelers Notes: [url="http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2008/08/11/sports/steelers/doc48a10b6d8c494405176563.txt"]http://www.timesonline.com/articles/200 ... 176563.txt[/url]
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:04 AM EDT
LATROBE — By Troy Polamalu’s estimation, he’ll be able to practice very soon.
It could happen Saturday when the Steelers hold their next-to-last training camp practice at St. Vincent College. Or it may be next Tuesday when practices resume at team headquarters on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
“I’m kind of just going with the flow right now,” said the star strong safety who’s missed all of camp so far with a hamstring pull. “I am feeling better and better.”
On Monday, Polamalu spent his 16th day on the physically unable to perform list. He was placed on the P.U.P. on July 27 along with guard Chris Kemoeatu (triceps) and nose tackle Casey Hampton (out of shape).
Kemoeatu and Hampton have both been put back on the active roster.
“I assume Troy is getting close,” coach Mike Tomin said.
“I want to get back. I enjoy practicing,” said Polamalu, who’s been to four straight Pro Bowls. “But you can’t rush it too much because if you come back too fast, there’s a chance (the injury) will bother you throughout the whole season.
“To me, it’s not how you come to training camp. It’s how you come out of training camp.”
If Polamalu starts to practice Saturday, he would probably be able to play in the final two preseason games.
If he starts practice next Tuesday, he would have 20 days before the Sept. 7 season opener.
GOING TO THE FLICKS?
For years during the Bill Cowher regime, a rite of camp was a day at the movies.
If he sensed the Steelers were working hard, Cowher rewarded the Steelers by canceling a morning practice and bussing the team to a nearby movie theater.
Last year, in his first season as coach, Tomlin continued that practice. But this year, with the Steelers at St. Vincent for just three weeks, a day at the movies might not happen.
Still, that didn’t stop fullback Carey Davis and linebacker Arnold Harrison from writing a song with “Let’s Go to the Movies” lyrics.
Much to the amusement of their teammates, Davis and Harrison sang their tune during calisthenics before Monday afternoon’s practice.
“It’s just something that Carey and I collaborated on,” said Harrison, an outside linebacker fighting for a roster spot. “Coach Tomlin just laughed when he heard it. Then he blew the horn (on the air gun) and said, ‘Let’s go to work.’
“I doubt if we’re going to go to the movies this year. But there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with ourselves. With all the hard work and hard labor we’ve been putting in, you need something to be happy about.”
ODDS AND ENDS
- Using white athletic tape, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger taped the No. 16 on the side of his helmet. It was a tribute to Charlie Batch, the backup QB who suffered a broken collarbone in Friday’s preseason won over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Batch underwent surgery at noon Monday to fix the fracture.
- Tomlin was shocked when a reporter asked him why he didn’t cancel practice Monday afternoon when a light drizzle fell in the Laurel Highlands.
“We’re going to play in the rain from time to time and we can’t let the rain stop us from what we want to do,” Tomlin said. “We have to play under all circumstances: hot, cold; wet, dry. As long as there’s not lightning on us, we’ll get our work in.”
- During a one-on-one pass-rushing/pass protection drill, tackle Trai Essex and defensive end Ryan McBean exchanged blows. The fight just lasted a few seconds.
“Just a little scrap,” Tomlin said. “Some guys get a little heated. That’s part of it.”
- Kicker Jeff Reed booted a 57-yard field goal Monday afternoon. The longest kick he’s ever made in a regular-season game is a 51-yarder.
- Rookie safety Ryan Mundy, a sixth-round draft pick, will miss at least the next two preseason games with a lower leg injury. He may even be a candidate for the season-ending injured reserve list