The Steelers were back to work on Tuesday and without knowing who their opponent will be for the divisional playoff game on Jan. 15 (4:30 p.m. kickoff) the focus was on working on improving the little things.
"It was just keeping up with the chemistry, going over the base plays that we will run," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "Little things like that and making sure we stay on our Ps and Qs.
"It's Steelers-Steelers. It's letting old men like Hines (Ward), James Farrior and Flozell (Adams) rest and get their legs back. Let guys get healthy. We don't want to take an approach that we are off. It's not an off week for us. It's a week we still have to get better and focus on little things."
In the past Steelers players remember using the bye week to prepare for potential opponents, but prefer using the week the way they are this year.
"What we are doing now is focusing on getting us better," said safety Troy Polamalu. "We had a bye week in the past with Coach (Bill) Cowher and we did one day for each possible team, but I think I like this way better. It might have been Coach (Mike) Tomlin a few years ago. I don't remember."
Polamalu doesn't plan on worrying about who the playoff opponent is – with the potential ones being Baltimore, Indianapolis or Kansas City – until Wild Card weekend reveals who it will be.
"I don't know anything about the Chiefs," said Polamalu. "We know the Indianapolis Colts given the history we have with them and the Ravens. I won't be watching any games this weekend to find out what the Chiefs are about, but if we do play them I will know quite a bit about them."
While Polamalu doesn't plan on watching the games, Roethlisberger isn't sure what he will be doing.
"I haven't even thought about it," said Roethlisberger.
Having a bye can work for or against a team, but you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Steelers locker room who feels it's a bad thing.
"It's important," said tight end Heath Miller. "I don't think there is a guy in this locker room that would say he wouldn't need it at this point in the year. We are glad we got it."
The Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII while having a bye, but also won Super Bowl XL when they were a sixth seed without a week off.
"It probably depends if you have done it before," said Roethlisberger. "If you have been there, what is your team like, how veteran a group is it, have they been in the playoffs or not. We have an older group, a veteran group so I think this is the best thing for us to let the guys get rest."
The Steelers will be represented in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick National Finals by Emily Riggs from Bridgeport, WV, in the 8-9 year-old girl's division. The competition is being held in Atlanta during the NFC Divisional Playoff weekend.