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The task at hand

LATROBE _ Philadelphia can wait.

Two days before his much-anticipated professional debut against the defending-Super Bowl champions, quarterback Mason Rudolph maintained his focus was about this afternoon's practice.

"Obviously, you dream about playing in the NFL," Rudolph acknowledged following this morning's walk-through at Saint Vincent College. "But once you get here you take it one day at a time. That's the way I've approached practice and it's gone well. 'Coach T' (head coach Mike Tomlin) talks about living in the moment and not looking ahead, controlling what you can control in that moment, in that period, in 'Team,' in '7-on (-7),' and then working to the next day.

"That's the way I'm looking at it. That's the way I've always looked at it. Obviously we're excited, a lot of us will be playing in our first NFL game. But we have a lot to take care of in the next 48 hours to give us our best chance for success."

For Rudolph, a third-round quarterback from Oklahoma State, that included taking the good with the bad at practice.

Whether he had hit wide receiver Tevin Jones in "Seven Shots" or failed to connect with tight end Bucky Hodges in 1-on-1 drills, Rudolph's stated intention had been to absorbed what he could from the play that had just taken place and then shift his focus to the one coming up.

No sense worrying about the Eagles, cheesesteaks or anything else just yet.

"That's just my mindset from college," Rudolph said. "That's our mindset here with the culture of the Steelers, that's what 'Coach T' talks about, so that's the way we're going to approach it. "Whether it's a practice or a game, you know, 'Hey, one play at a time.' If one play goes bad, the next play could be the one that wins it, the play that gets you back in the game. That's how we look at it.

"I'm just excited to use these next two days, prepare, put the finishing touches on our plan and then get out there and play football."

MEDICAL FILE: Tomlin said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wouldn't play on Thursday night at Philadelphia (coaching decision). Tomlin also said it was "safe to assume" outside linebacker Bud Dupree (concussion), wide receiver Antonio Brown (quad), tight end Vance McDonald (foot) and outside linebacker T.J. Watt (hamstring) were among the players who wouldn't be playing against the Eagles

Dupree, Brown, McDonald, Watt, wide receiver Marcus Tucker (ankle), cornerback Brian Allen (undisclosed) and outside linebacker Keion Adams (undisclosed) didn't do any 11-on-11 work.

Brown was back on campus and did position drills, working from the back rather than the front of the wide receiver line.

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, cornerback Joe Haden, guard David DeCastro and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert  were among those who returned to practice.

POUNCEY EXITS EARLY: Center Maurkice Pouncey went down during a run by James Conner in 11-on-11 work and stayed down momentarily. Pouncey limped a bit upon getting to his feet but remained on the field throughout. He had a wrap applied in the vicinity of his right knee by the close of practice. Left guard B.J. Finney shifted to center and offensive tackle Matt Feiler took over at left guard after Pouncey left the lineup.

SEVEN UP: The projected No. 1 "Dollar" defense, the Steelers' new seven-defensive backs sub-package, was on display for the first time thanks to Haden's return. It included Haden and cornerback Artie Burns, nickel-cornerback Mike Hilton, strong safety Terrell Edmunds, free safety Sean Davis, and strong safety Morgan Burnett and safety/cornerback Cameron Sutton both playing where linebackers otherwise might.

EXTRA POINTS: The offense won, 4-3, in "Seven Shots." The highlight was a fade from Roethlisberger to Smith-Schuster than was tipped by Haden and intercepted by Burnett, who had come off coverage of tight end Xavier Grimble … Smith-Schuster scored/converted on the next three reps but the third one might have been happenstance. Roethlisberger appeared to be throwing for wide receiver Justin Thomas and yelled "no JuJu" just before Smith-Schuster cut in front of Thomas and made the grab. Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster had a chat once they completed their participation in the drill … Wide receiver Justin Hunter dropped a deep ball down the sideline from Roethlisberger. Thomas muffed a punt during special teams work.

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