You gotta have Hope

New free safety Chris Hope seems to be settling into his role quite well. <br><br> Hope had a pair of interceptions Saturday - two of the defense's four - making a statement that he plans to hold onto his new starting job, replacing veteran Brent Alexander.

"I hope so," Hope said. "I've worked too hard to get to this point. It's my time. I learned a lot from Brent and hopefully, I can be half the player he was at this position."

The Steelers are shooting a little higher in their plans for Chris Hope and new strong safety Troy Polamalu, who is replacing Mike Logan at strong safety.

Even though Hope and Polamalu played together on the second unit last season, there is still a bit of a transition.

"It's different in practice than what we're going to do now," said Polamalu. "And even though we were out there a lot together in the preseason, I had no clue what I was doing out there, so that doesn't count."

  • Cornerback Chad Scott (ankle, shoulder), linebacker Kendrell Bell (groin) and tight end Jay Riemersma (shoulder) did not practice Saturday.

    Rookie wide receiver Huey Whitaker (knee), an undrafted free agent, injured his knee in the morning session. The injury is not considered serious.

    Of the injuries to the veterans, Scott's is the most serious. He was in an air cast Saturday.

  • Wide receiver Freddie Millons continues to look good, catching everything that's been thrown near him.

    "This is my opportunity to show what I can do," said Millons, acquired from Philadelphia at the end of training camp last year. "It was tough last year because I came in so late and they didn't have too much time to devote to one player to get me ready. So I spent the season running the other team's offense. This year I'm getting to run our offense and show what I can do."

  • Charlie Batch and Ben Roethlisberger threw two of the Steelers' four interceptions Saturday, with Brian St. Pierre chipping in the other two.

  • Rookie Eric Taylor made me do a double take in the locker room. With his dreadlocked/braided hair, he looked like a slightly taller, very much thicker version of Rodney Bailey, the man he was drafted to replace.

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