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Steelers notebook: Team's inability to get Miller more touches baffles Hampton

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers tight end Heath Miller picks up yardage after a catch against the Cowboys earlier this season in Dallas.
By Alan Robinson
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, 7:24 p.m.

Ben Roethlisberger isn't the only Steelers player who wanted Heath Miller to get the ball more in Dallas. So did nose tackle Casey Hampton, who wonders what Miller's production would be in the Patriots' tight end-friendly offense.

“They don't go to Heath enough, for me,” Hampton said Thursday. “Heath is a mismatch for everybody. I feel every time you throw it to Heath, he is going to make a play. He is not in New England, and they don't throw him the ball a hundred times a year. It is just not built into this offense for him to do that.”

• Steelers chairman Dan Rooney was presented a proclamation Thursday by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl honoring his three-plus years as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. The day was named in Rooney's honor in Pittsburgh. “I found Ireland to be a great place. The people there are similar to Pittsburghers, they are friendly, and they try to help,” Rooney said.

• One of Chuck Noll's expressions was, “You can't make the club in the tub,” meaning a player couldn't make the team if he was constantly rehabilitating in the whirlpool bathtub. But at least the Steelers wide receivers can feel fashionable after climbing out of one, thanks to Plaxico Burress. He bought bathrobes for the wideouts and Roethlisberger. “Just showing my guys a little token of appreciation and give them something that they can use around here,” Burress said. “Around this time of the year, it's cold walking around here. I got Ben one, [but] I think he thinks it's a blanket.”

• Cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) sat out practice Thursday after getting “tweaked,” as he said, Wednesday. “I'm good,” said Lewis, who was injured in Dallas. He expects to play against the Bengals. As usual, it was a rest day for safety Troy Polamalu. Right tackle Mike Adams (ankle) also wasn't a full participant, but cornerback Cortez Allen (groin), receiver Emmanuel Sanders (rib) and defensive end Al Woods (illness) practiced in full.

• Allen thinks it should be “nationally televised.” And it's something that's hard to envision taking place in, for example, the Patriots' pre-game meeting. But defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will recite “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the team hotel Saturday night. It's become a Steelers' holiday tradition. Hood said LeBeau is “a man with a lot of knowledge, but also a lot of cheer.”

• Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware was fined $15,750 for his hit on Roethlisberger on Sunday.

— Alan Robinson

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