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Ward practices, feeling fine

Wide receiver Hines Ward, who normally doesn't practice on Wednesday, was a full participant this week on Wednesday. Ward left the Patriots game with what Coach Mike Tomlin called a concussion, but said he is fine.

"I'm good. I took the concussion test, passed it," said Ward. "They want to keep an eye on it. I am going to go out there and practice and take it one day at a time. I feel fine. I don't have the symptoms they think I should have."

Ward wanted to return to the game on Sunday night, but the NFL's rules protecting players with concussions didn't allow him to. While he said he would always be upfront about any concussion symptoms, he also said it's not something he worries about at this point.

"Until I get a defined answer with all of the stats of guys having injuries post-career, I won't worry about it," said Ward. "Who is to say one concussion is worse than three concussions. Until you tell me that, I am going to keep playing football."

Coming off a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots the Steelers know that they have to pick it up this week against an Oakland Raiders team that won their last three games before having a bye last week.

"We need to focus more on the details," said linebacker James Farrior. "Everybody needs to know their job and pay attention to everything that is going on in practice so we don't have those types of mistakes we had last week.

"I think we are a good team. It's up to us to focus on the job at hand. This week it's the Raiders. They are playing as well as any team. They are hot right now. We are going to have our hands full."

Farrior did say, though, if the play doesn't improve this week that maybe some changes are necessary.

"When you don't perform, things have to change," said Farrior. "You have to go with the guys who are playing good. If we don't improve, then things are definitely going to change. I wouldn't be surprised if we had some changes."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is looking to take on a new role, that of a vocal leader in the locker room.

"Being a leader for me, I have never been a rah-rah guy," said Roethlisberger. "I will pull a guy aside and talk to him. It's always been about actions for me. It's time now maybe, at this point of the season, to transition to being more of a vocal guy than lead by example."

Injury Update: S Will Allen (concussion), DE Nick Eason (illness), DT Steve McLendon (illness), S Troy Polamalu (Achilles) and DE Aaron Smith (triceps) did not practice. CB Crezdon Butler (quadriceps), DE Brett Keisel (hamstring), G Chris Kemoeatu (ankle), LB Lawrence Timmons (hip) took part in a limited basis.

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