This week will be anything but normal for the Steelers as they prepare to play the Minnesota Vikings in London, England as a part of the NFL's International Series, but Coach Mike Tomlin is doing his best to make it business as usual.
While the Vikings are already in London, the Steelers won't leave until after practice on Thursday, opting to work out at the team's practice facility for two days.
"We are excited about the work that is in front of us here before we go to London," said Tomlin. "It's going to be business as usual and search for normalcy in the front part of the week, particularly from an installation standpoint and from a beginning of the week standpoint in terms of our Wednesday and Thursday practice. We will finish all of our normal work here, all of our normal work that we would do up until Thursday."
When the Steelers arrive in London Tomlin acknowledged that things won't be normal any longer, but the key is to still attack the work the same as they would if they were in Pittsburgh.
"We will deal with it," said Tomlin. "What we are going to do though is go through our normal processes in the last 48 hours in preparation for game time. That's our Friday preparation and our Saturday walk through. We look forward to doing that. We look forward to representing the NFL, and hopefully acquiring our first victory in the process."
Tomlin is also taking a business-only approach to the trip, so don't expect postcards or sightseeing tours from him.
"It's purely a business trip for me personally," said Tomlin. "This is just a road game for us. We are happy to represent the NFL in international play. But in terms of what it is that we are doing, our level of focus and the things that we need to do in preparation and in play, it's just a road game for us."
One concern could be the team adjusting to the five hour time difference with only a short window to get used to it, but Tomlin doesn't think that will be a problem.
"I think traveling on Thursday night and getting there on Friday morning will provide us enough opportunity to adjust to the time difference," said Tomlin. "A lot of West Coast teams that travel to the East Coast do two-day travels and that's appropriate. I value normalcy in the early portions of the week from a preparation standpoint and from a practice standpoint."
At 0-3 it might be hard to look at nothing but the negatives, but in order to get on the winning track Tomlin knows you have to look at both the positives and negatives.
"We met (Monday), looked at the tape and studied the tape, really for the sole purpose of building on the positive from that football game, and identifying, acknowledging and working to eliminate the negative," said Tomlin. "There was some growth exhibited by our team in that game. It wasn't enough for victory. As we look at the tape and move forward, we look at it with that purpose, to build upon the positive.'
Tomlin offered his congratulations to the Pittsburgh Pirates who clinched a playoff berth for the first time in 21 years.
"I am happy for those guys," said Tomlin. "I just jotted (Pirates Manager) Clint (Hurdle) a note this morning. It's big for them. It's big for our community. It's just awesome. I look forward to watching them represent us in the playoffs and going to chase the big prize."