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Polamalu hits higher gear

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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu, who missed all of training camp because of a hamstring injury, was extremely active Wednesday. He was on the practice field longer than his Tuesday session and received more reps with the first-team defense. Polamalu took a tumble with rookie tight end Dezmond Sherrod while defending a pass, but he jumped right to his feet and continued playing.

• Linebacker James Farrior said the Steelers will make a better showing in their third game of the preseason against Minnesota on Saturday night because the players will be more focused.

"You can make a whole lot of different excuses, but we just didn't play (well) last week," Farrior said of the Steelers' 24-21 loss to Buffalo. "There's more of a sense of urgency now that we saw that you just can't turn it off and on. It's a process that you go through, and I think everybody understands that after that last game when we played bad."

• The oldest Steelers player said he still has some football left in him. Defensive lineman Orpheus Roye, 35, was a 1996 sixth-round draft pick of the Steelers who spent the bulk of his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns. He's coming off a knee injury that slowed his performance last season.

"The injury wasn't major," Roye said. "It was just something minor. I was able to correct that and get back to training and rehab and get it strong."

• Coach Mike Tomlin is a fan of having three quarterbacks on the roster. That means the Steelers will in all likelihood retain veteran Byron Leftwich and fifth-round draft pick Dennis Dixon behind starter Ben Roethlisberger.

"We've got some options there," Tomlin said. "I just like a guy (Dixon) developing."

• Safety Ryan Mundy (ankle) and linebacker Mike Humpal (stinger) missed another day of practice yesterday.

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