Steelers Wednesday Notebook:

The Steelers returned to work Wednesday and here's an update of the practice day:

Pittsburgh – Lawrence Timmons practiced at right outside linebacker Wednesday and is expected to play there Sunday.

Not that he's inexperienced at that unique position in the 3-4 defensive alignment.

An inside linebacker since being drafted in the first round in 2007, Timmons made starts at each outside position in 2008. He made six tackles (LOLB) in a loss to Indianapolis and made 12 tackles (ROLB) in a December win over Cleveland. In the two games combined, he had only one quarterback pressure.

"I remember him coming in and playing well," said right defensive end Brett Keisel. "The thing about Lawrence is his athletic ability. He's so athletic and runs so well that he might give a little ground on the initial push but he's athletic enough to get off the block and go make the play."

That, unfortunately, hasn't been happening too often this season. One of the best-liked players on the team, Timmons has only one quarterback pressure, no sacks, and no turnovers in four games after signing a $50 million contract during training camp.

"I think sometimes when guys get a big contract they want to come out and show everyone, ‘Watch all these plays I make,'" Keisel said. "Sometimes those plays don't happen, so you get frustrated with yourself because you're trying to go out and prove to everyone and yourself that ‘I'm worth everything they gave me, and more.' So I think he's maybe trying a little too hard. He'll be fine. He's a great player. He'll be fine."

Keisel also said that Timmons might enjoy the switch to James Harrison's spot because it's "much easier, much easier" than inside linebacker.


Ben Roethlisberger didn't practice Wednesday, but he expects to play Sunday with the help of the same kind of shoe that helped him through last season's foot injury.

"The other one was broken on the outside of my plant (right) foot," Roethlisberger said of last year's injury. "This is just my step-into (left) foot, and I'll just deal with the pain."

The training staff will help him deal with the pain with a shoe that's one size bigger with a metal plate on the bottom to keep the foot from being bent.

Roethlisberger's left foot was sprained during – he believes – the Steelers' penultimate possession of the loss Sunday in Houston. He believes the foot sprain will heal in time for Sunday's home game against the Tennessee Titans, and that he won't have to change his playing style.

"I play the game a certain way. I don't want to change that," he said. "People talk about getting the ball out of your hand faster, do this, do that. But I've been playing this game pretty successfully, I think, for the past seven years. I've done a decent job and the line has done a good job. I want to make sure they don't get too much blame. A lot of it is my fault. We'll play the game the way we know how."


Keisel returned to practice Wednesday, but the following Steelers were excused: CB Cortez Allen (ankle), NT Casey Hampton (shoulder), LB Harrison (eye), G Chris Kemoeatu (knee), RB Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring), RB Mewelde Moore (ankle), QB Roethlisberger (foot), DE Aaron Smith (foot), WR Hines Ward (no injury), and OLB Jason Worilds (quadriceps).

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