"That was the first one they came in here talking about," said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. "I said, ‘Are you guys kidding me?'"
Pittsburgh reporters reminded Lewis during Wednesday's conference call that Moss would team with Owens and Ochocinco to provide "a triple threat."
"A triple threat?" Lewis repeated. "Yes, but I'm not sure which way."
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was also asked about Moss in an exchange that started this way:
Reporter: "How much fun would it be for a quarterback to have guys like T.O., Ochocinco – "
Roethlisberger: "Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders. I love 'em. I wouldn't trade my guys for them, and that's no offense to either one of those two guys. They're great receivers but I wouldn't trade my receivers for anyone."
Reporter: "Even though they have reality shows?"
Roethlisberger: "All the better."
Reporter: "Would you make room for Randy Moss in the offense?"
Roethlisberger: "Uh, you know what? He's a great player. Like I said, I like the guys we have and I wouldn't trade them for anybody."
Roethlisberger later was asked about two of his receivers, specifically Ward and Sanders, whose intersection on fourth-and-4 Sunday night resulted in an incompletion after Sanders knocked down a ball intended for the open Ward.
"You've got a young guy, Emmanuel, that's in there and you'd like to see him take off on that, but he's not wrong in what he did," Roethlisberger said. "Hines and I were improvising. That's just something we'll all get back on the same page with."
POLAMALU NOT CONFUSED
After Steelers linebacker James Harrison met with the league commissioner for a clarification of the tackling rules, teammate Troy Polamalu was asked if there was still some confusion about what the league wants.
"No," Polamalu said. "I don't think there's any confusion. I just think the problem is that they're wrong."
Polamalu didn't want to expand on his comment, but did so later when asked about "a level of paranoia by those watching the game."
"There's definitely a paranoia that's unneeded," Polamalu said, adding: "If people want to watch soccer they should watch soccer. But honestly, overseas, when people are attracted to this game they're going to see the big hits. They're not going to care about touchdowns and different things, so you're also taking a part of what attracts people to this game."
Polamalu was nearly as blunt about his performance Sunday night in New Orleans. He admitted to being beaten on third-and-5 passes to Robert Meachem for 50 yards and Jeremy Shockey for 14 yards in the second half, but there was more bothering him.
"There were a couple plays that I instinctually felt that I knew I had but I didn't take advantage of them and in my opinion they would've been game-changing plays," he said. "I was like, ‘Man, I knew that play. I should've done something about it.' But that's also going maybe a little bit outside the defense and expecting a little bit more of myself than I should, as well."
FARRIOR ON ‘DEEBO'
Steelers defensive captain James Farrior was asked what he thought James Harrison would be doing for a living had he followed through on his threat two weeks ago to retire.
"I don't know, be a hunter or something," Farrior said. "He's got a lot of guns, so I'm sure it'd have something to do with shooting stuff."
"Yeah, hopefully animals and not all the people he's mad at and the people who fine him."
Are some of those people in this locker room?
"Everybody's in trouble in here. You never know who Deebo's mad at sometimes. He might be mad at you."
FILLING THE PRACTICE SQUAD
To fill the two spots Wednesday, the Steelers signed OLB Chris Ellis and DE Sunny Harris to their practice squad.
Ellis is a 6-4, 261-pounder who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Virginia Tech, where he'd started in front of current Steelers OLB Jason Worilds. Ellis is wearing No. 90.
Harris, a 6-5, 300-pounder, was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft by the Steelers, but has been cut twice by the team. He's wearing No. 77.