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Miller: 'This will be a good gauge'

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Starters expect to see more playing time vs. the Eagles on Thursday night.

The last few days the Steelers have been back on familiar ground, practicing at the team’s UPMC Sports Performance Complex and no longer at training camp.

It’s created a sense of normalcy, a feeling of the way things are during the regular season.

That sense of normalcy will carry over to Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, as this is the preseason game that most resembles a regular season game and the starters see the most playing time.

“This is the final opportunity to play and get in the swing of things and get game ready,” said receiver Antonio Brown for what it will be like for the starters. “It’s great to be back on the South Side and get the normal routine going, be at our home.”

There has been no confirmation on how long the starters will play yet, but they will be out there longer than what fans have seen in the first two preseason games.

“It’s good, especially from a conditioning standpoint,” said tight end Heath Miller. “This will be the closest taste we get as far as an actual game to the time we are in there. This will be a good gauge in that respect.”

Safety Mike Mitchell, who estimated he played about 37 snaps against the Buffalo Bills, agrees that the additional reps will help the players get their bodies prepared for the regular season.

“We just have to play the plays,” said Mitchell. “Like Coach (Mike) Tomlin says physical conditioning precedes everything, so just getting the reps for most of the game will help. We have increased reps every game. We just have to continue to get reps together and continue to shore up the things that hurt us the last two games. We are going to treat this and prepare for it like it’s a regular season game.”

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