Polamalu hits higher gear
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, August 21, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 84055.html

Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu, who missed all of training camp because of a hamstring injury, was extremely active Wednesday. He was on the practice field longer than his Tuesday session and received more reps with the first-team defense. Polamalu took a tumble with rookie tight end Dezmond Sherrod while defending a pass, but he jumped right to his feet and continued playing.

Linebacker James Farrior said the Steelers will make a better showing in their third game of the preseason against Minnesota on Saturday night because the players will be more focused.

"You can make a whole lot of different excuses, but we just didn't play (well) last week," Farrior said of the Steelers' 24-21 loss to Buffalo. "There's more of a sense of urgency now that we saw that you just can't turn it off and on. It's a process that you go through, and I think everybody understands that after that last game when we played bad."

The oldest Steelers player said he still has some football left in him. Defensive lineman Orpheus Roye, 35, was a 1996 sixth-round draft pick of the Steelers who spent the bulk of his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns. He's coming off a knee injury that slowed his performance last season.

"The injury wasn't major," Roye said. "It was just something minor. I was able to correct that and get back to training and rehab and get it strong."

Coach Mike Tomlin is a fan of having three quarterbacks on the roster. That means the Steelers will in all likelihood retain veteran Byron Leftwich and fifth-round draft pick Dennis Dixon behind starter Ben Roethlisberger.

"We've got some options there," Tomlin said. "I just like a guy (Dixon) developing."

Safety Ryan Mundy (ankle) and linebacker Mike Humpal (stinger) missed another day of practice yesterday.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432