Roethlisberger's thoughts with Arians, Colts after Pagano news
• Ben Roethlisberger planned to talk Monday night with former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who became the Colts' interim coach when Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. Pagano is not expected back this season. Roethlisberger and Arians talk on at least a weekly basis. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Pagano and his family and everything that he's going through,” Roethlisberger said.
• Eagles quarterback Michael Vick can be difficult to prepare for because he can alter any play by tucking the ball and taking off running. He is eighth in passing with 1,146 yards yet has rushed for 130 yards and a 4.8 average. But he has turned the ball over, losing three fumbles and throwing six interceptions. “There's no time off with Vick. He always extends plays. We understand that,” cornerback Ike Taylor said. “He can scramble and run the ball and on the go, he can launch the ball 60 or 70 yards.”
• Because the Steelers were coming off a four-day break, they practiced Monday, something they normally don't do during the season. “(It) was kind of a bonus day,” Roethlisberger said. “It doesn't feel like a real week of practice yet. Once Wednesday comes around, it will feel real.” Next week, the Steelers will likely have only one full practice, on Tuesday, before they play at Tennessee on Thursday.
• The Steelers haven't given up more than 400 points in a season since 1988. They're on pace to allow exactly that many. “We haven't been executing very well at all, no matter if he (defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau) is calling the most basic forms of our defenses or some of them that take a little bit of thinking and experience,” safety Troy Polamalu said. “Whatever call he makes, we haven't been executing well at all.”
— Alan Robinson