Another hot one expected

The Steelers will preach a similar theme this week that they did last as they prepare to go to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers – hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate.

Temperatures in Tennessee were in the 90s with an even higher heat index on the field and similar conditions could welcome the Steelers to Florida.

But the Steelers, who will wear black jerseys again this week, won't allow the weather to be a factor.

 "We have to play in it," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "It's going to be hot on their sideline as well. I've coached football down there. This time of year when you coach football down there you like to feel good about the climate in that it's a winning edge. But the reality is that if you don't get off the field and make the necessary plays you need to make it could hurt you. I've been a part of that. We're not going to get too caught up in it."

Last week the team rotated in offensive linemen because dehydration became an issue. Tomlin didn't commit to dressing an extra offensive lineman because of that, knowing the same thing can happen on the other side of the ball. 

"We have the same issues with our defensive line if they can't get off the field," said Tomlin. "It wasn't an issue with our defense in the last game because we created turnovers. Those are natural issues or questions that you ask yourself going into a game. The reality is you can't carry extra bodies at all positions. So based on the matchup, our level of comfort and preparedness and health, those are the things that will kind of determine where we distribute the helmets."

Rookie Antonio Brown gave the Steelers an early spark against the Titans, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. But Tomlin won't commit just yet to Brown handling the duties again this week.

"He made a pretty good case for himself, but I can be a tough guy to work with sometimes so we will see how the week unfolds," said Tomlin.

Lawrence Timmons is off to a strong start, but it doesn't surprise Tomlin at all.

"I really thought that he was on course a year ago," said Tomlin. "He missed four plus games and it was limited in some others due to the high ankle injury that he had, but the play that he is exhibiting right now is no different than the play that he exhibited a year ago when healthy.  I thought the light came on for him a year ago."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.