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A much needed break

For Steelers rookies, the bye weekend will be the first break they have had in a long time, and they are going to use it wisely.

"It's a big help, simply because we have been non-stop since last college season," said Terrell Edmunds. "We went straight into draft workouts, rookie minicamp, camp, now the regular season and we have already played 10 games. It's like our whole college season is done right now, but we still have a lot of football left.

"I am definitely ready and prepared. I am glad we got this bye week when we did. We can just recuperate and get back right.

"It's important to relax. That is the whole point of it, sit back, relax, kick your feet up and just work on your craft. Watch some more film on your opponent, see what you can do to help get yourself better, get any injuries fixed up and be ready for next week."

James Washington feels the same way.

"It will be good to let your body get a break, rejuvenate, get your body back up to par and get ready for next week," said Washington. "We tear down our bodies this entire season. Every chance you get to let your body heal, it's good for you."

It's not just the rookies, though, who like the timing of the bye. Marcus Gilbert thinks the bye is at a perfect time, an opportunity to get rest before the second half of the season, which will kick off with AFC North games against the Browns and Ravens.

"It came at a perfect time. Some guys needed it," said Gilbert. "I think as long as we are having fun out there, guys are where they are supposed to be, guys are studying, and guys are taking coaching, then we are a team to beat.

"Guys are making plays, guys are going down to the pile, picking guys up, protecting their brothers. Guys are having a good time out there. Celebrating with teammates. Guys are giving great effort. It shows on the practice field, in the game, in the locker room, on the plane. We are finding our groove."

Joe Haden is in his ninth season in the NFL, but said his knowledge of the game has done nothing but grow over the years.

"Above the neck, understanding the game, concepts, routes, I feel like the game has really slowed down for me this year," said Haden. "I know what I am doing, I can tell other people what is going on. Just slowing it down and let my film study come into play. I think that is just overall growth, being in the NFL.

"Film study is a huge part. When you are covering the receivers and you don't know their route, you are playing one-on-one. When you let film study come into play, you are a step ahead of them. If you are naturally gifted where you can stay in front of them, and you know their route, it's a whole other level."

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