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Records mean nothing in division games

Their record might be 2-5, but the Steelers know that the defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals are better than that record shows and they are expecting a fight when the two teams meet at Paul Brown Stadium.

"It's Monday night in Cincinnati," said wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. "They were the winners last year. We have to do what we got to do to knock them off.

"They play smart, physical ball. They have some corners that track the ball when the ball is in the air. On offense they do some great things. We have our work cut out for us, but we will be ready Monday night."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still looking at the Bengals on film, and will be until game time, but knows that the defense presents a challenge.

"They are very good on defense," said Roethlisberger. "I need to watch a little more. They are a very good defense. We need to study them a lot because they do a lot of complicated things."

One thing the offense will have to do to make sure they come out on top on Monday night is not let opportunities slip away.

"For three games we had a lot of opportunities to do some big things and just haven't done them," said Randle El. "The bottom line is now we have to continue to sharpen those skills and going into this game be on a little bit of a better page with one another and just get rolling.

"I think we as a unit haven't paid enough attention to detail on certain plays to be able to give ourselves that big play or didn't just make the play when it was time to make it."

Safety Troy Polamalu said that he is feeling fine these days after missing most of the 2009 season with a knee injury. The only thing that has hampered him this season is not taking advantage of opportunities to make big plays.

"I think there are a lot of opportunities for me to make plays personally in games that I didn't make," said Polamalu. "It had nothing to do with anything physical, maybe second-guessing myself a little too much."

Polamalu said that particularly was the case against the Saints last week.

"I think there are some plays out there that I wish I could have back," said Polamalu. "More or less knowing something and not taking advantage of that. There were a couple of plays I felt I had a good feel for that I didn't make. That's a lesson learned."

Defensive end Ziggy Hood, who received praise for his play from Coach Mike Tomlin earlier in the week, evaluated his own performance in his first career start.

"It was a solid performance," said Hood. "I went out there and did my job, did what I had to do. It could have been better. That is what practice is for. I will learn from that and grow from there."

Linebacker James Harrison met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the NFL offices in New York on Tuesday. The meeting was to "discuss the rules that relate to illegal use of the helmet and hits to the head and neck," according to the NFL.

Harrison is appealing the $75,000 fine he received for his hit on Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.   

The Steelers added two players to their practice squad and also lost one.

Sunny Harris, a sixth-round draft pick in 2009, returned to the team. Harris was on the Steelers active roster for part of the 2009 season, but was inactive and didn't see any playing time. He was waived by the team on September 4 of this year on the final roster cut.

Harris was picked up by the Buffalo Bills, but they waived him from the active roster on October 6.

Also signed was linebacker Chris Ellis, a third-year player from Virginia Tech. Ellis was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round in 2008, but finished the season on injured reserve. He was inactive for the first seven games of 2009, and saw limited action in only three games during the remainder of the season.

Ellis started the season-opener for the Bills this season and recorded five tackles and his first career sack. He played in four additional games, without any tackles, before he was waived on Oct. 11.   

The openings on the practice squad occurred after Steve McClendon was signed to the active roster last week and Al Woods was claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Roethlisberger was asked about what it would be like to have Bengals Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco as weapons in the Steelers offense, and he was quick to respond.

"I wouldn't trade my guys for them," said Roethlisberger, referring to the Steelers receiving corps. "That's no offense to either one of those guys. They are great receivers. I wouldn't trade my receivers for anybody. "

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