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Steelers notebook: No sense of urgency over possible 0-2 start

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 7:28 p.m.
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Steelers receiver Antonio Brown celebrates a 22-yard punt return against the Broncos during the season opener at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sept. 9, 2012, in Denver. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Steelers haven't started 0-2 since 2002, although they did recover to make the playoffs.

Asked if there is a sense of urgency only one game into the season — only four teams that started 0-2 reached the Super Bowl — linebacker LaMarr Woodley said, “We won't be 0-2.”

Wide receiver Mike Wallace added, “The simple fact is you want to win every time you go out there, not because 0-2 would be (seen as) the end of the world.”

• After coach Mike Tomlin hinted during camp that Pro Bowl returner Antonio Brown wouldn't be on special teams, Brown returned two punts for 23 yards Sunday. Rookie Chris Rainey had two punt return touchdowns called back by penalties in the final preseason game against Carolina, so he was as surprised as anyone when he wasn't in that role in Denver. “It was (special teams coach Amos Jones') call, so that's him. I was disappointed because I'm a competitor,” Rainey said.

• Linebacker James Harrison (left knee) didn't practice Wednesday, which wasn't a surprise even though Tomlin said the day before that the five-time Pro Bowl player would test the knee. Harrison hasn't gone through a full practice since Sept. 3.

• Also missing practice were running back Jonathan Dwyer (foot), safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee). Defensive end Ziggy Hood (back) was limited.

• Harrison is out $100,000, but this time his contribution was made willingly to alma mater Kent State, rather than involuntarily to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's fine pool. In appreciation of the gift, which was accepted Wednesday by the Kent State Board of Trustees, the weight room in the Golden Flashes' field house will be renamed the James Harrison Strength & Conditioning Center.

• Jets quarterback Tim Tebow got all of the attention during training camp, but it is Mark Sanchez who concerns Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor. Sanchez beat the Steelers in a regular-season game in Pittsburgh in December 2010, then nearly pulled off the same feat in the AFC Championship Game there a month later. “What people don't understand is he's had (four) coordinators, now he has a coordinator who looks like he's finally settled down,” Taylor said. “The presence when he's there? He's got the presence.”

— Alan Robinson

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