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Steelers notebook: Inclement weather could limit use of no-huddle

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By Alan Robinson
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 8:27 p.m.

The Steelers ran the no-huddle with great success against Detroit, but the projected weather conditions in Cleveland (20 mph winds, 7-degree wind chill) could limit that.

“Regardless of what your plan is, you have to have a bad weather game plan,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said.

“Conditions could get to the point where you have a plan that involves a lot of big people.”

• Defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) sat out practice again Thursday and probably must get on the field Friday in order to play in Cleveland. If he can't go, Ziggy Hood is prepared again to replace him. “I took a majority of snaps last week in practice,” Hood said. “When you take more snaps, you get a better feel for the game. Then come Sunday, it just comes easy.” Hood had a sack and five tackles against Detroit.

• Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) was held out of practice after being a limited participant Wednesday. Safety Shamarko Thomas (ankle) also didn't practice. Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) was limited, but left tackle Kelvin Beachum (hip), left guard Ramon Foster (high ankle sprain), tight end Heath Miller (day off Wednesday), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot) and center Fernando Velasco (knee) fully participated.

• Team president Art Rooney II presented a $275,000 check from the proceeds of the recent Steelers families' fashion show to the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, with executive director Micky Collins accepting Thursday. Numerous top athletes in many sports seek concussion treatment at UPMC, which developed a baseline concussion testing program that is used by numerous high school, college and NFL teams.

• Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau on recovering from the Lions' 27-point second quarter to shut out Detroit in the second half: “We went right to the edge of Niagara Falls, but we didn't go over.”

• Browns cornerback Joe Haden has shut down some of the NFL's better receivers: Calvin Johnson (three catches, 25 yards); Mike Wallace (one catch, 15 yards); Dwayne Boye (one catch, 7 yards) and hasn't given up a 100-yard game this season. Antonio Brown will be the seventh former Pro Bowl receiver Haden has opposed this season. “He has great feel, instinct and speed,” Haley said of Haden.

• Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said teams playing with desperation later in the season – like the Steelers are – sometimes have an edge over those that get off to strong starts. “I was on a (Jets) team that was 8-3 after 11 games and didn't make the playoffs. I felt like that was a very good team,” Cotchery said. “At the same time, the mindset of attacking it week to week kind of left a little bit.”

--- Alan Robinson

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