On Wednesday quarterback Ben Roethlisberger brought up the Steelers' physical practices, pointing to them as a potential reason why injuries could be a problem for the team.
"I think if you consistently have injuries and soft-tissue injuries, hamstrings – we go as hard as anybody in training camp and during the season," said Roethlisberger. "I'm not one to complain, because I don't get hit like the other guys do. The season is super long as it is and very physical. And when you're doing it over and over and the guys' shoulders are getting sore, knees start getting sore, and hips, and hamstrings, and quads and things, and then, they reoccur, you have to take a look at maybe what you're doing.
"I know we pride ourselves as Pittsburgh Steelers of being a physical football team, so I know it's a fine line you have to walk."
It is a fine line to walk, and one Coach Mike Tomlin makes sure he manages and pays close attention to.
"It's a conversation that we continually have," said Tomlin. "You have to walk a fine line. It's a delicate thing, team development and readiness. Not enough, too much. Those discussions are ongoing and it's a legitimate one."
Tomlin said it's a matter of balance when you manage the process over a time frame that runs about six months.
"It's time tested and really looking at each individual group and trying to give it what it needs along with experience," said Tomlin. "We don't do a lot of evaluating in that regard right now because that is in our rear view. As we come to the close of the season we will take a global look at issues such as those."
Tomlin said he had no problem with Roethlisberger sharing his opinion.
"We're a transparent group. Opinions are valued," said Tomlin. "We don't care where good ideas come from. We are just trying to win football games.
"Ben's been around here long enough to have an opinion and also express it."