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By Scott Brown
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
 

James Farrior is in his 15th NFL season.

And when the inside linebacker gets a break, such as the one the Steelers players have been enjoying since last Wednesday afternoon, he figures to get as far away from football as possible.

But it is his day job, not football, that Farrior put in the rear-view mirror earlier this week when he went home to Virginia.

"I'm going to be watching football this weekend just like every other fan in the United States," Farrior said. "This is a stress-free weekend. It's just a big weight lifted off your shoulders. We can just relax and reflect 10 games in and (on) what we have the rest of the way and check out a little football and see how things shake out this weekend."

The Steelers are 7-3, and they will be tied with the Ravens or Bengals for first place in the AFC North when they return from the bye.

Farrior pretty much summed up what the bye encompasses for the players that scattered Wednesday, following the Steelers' final practice of the week.

The only extended break of the regular season gives them a chance to get away from a grind that started in late July. It also provides them with an opportunity to recalibrate their minds and bodies.

"I think it's perfect," said Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace of the bye. "If we get to where we want to go, and that's the Super Bowl, the bye week comes right in the middle of it. At the beginning of the year, I was kind of like, 'That's kind of late,' but you couldn't ask for a better time right now."

Wallace went back to New Orleans for the break, but he didn't completely get away from work.

He and wide receiver Antonio Brown were among the players that downloaded game film of the Kansas City Chiefs onto their iPads so they could get a jump on studying the Steelers' next opponent.

"We're on a mission, so you can't just stay completely away from it," Wallace said on how much he distances himself from football during the bye. "You try to, but when you're trying to get where we're trying to get, you don't just want to lose focus all the way, but you want to enjoy yourself as well."

Farrior said he won't start looking at film of the Chiefs until he returnsto Pittsburgh since the Steelers have an extra day next week to prepare for Kansas City.

Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, like Farrior, didn't plan on taking any work with him when he returned home for a couple of days.

"When I'm away from football, I'm away," said Woodley, who went back to Michigan to see family and friends, rest the injured hamstring that has sidelined him for the last two games and even pay a visit to his high school.

At least one member of the Steelers didn't look at the bye as an opportunity to get get away from football for a few days.

"I'll be in here looking at video, Kansas City, getting ready for them," defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. "It's just what I do."

Additional Information:

Good Bye(s)

The Steelers have won three consecutive games after their regular-season bye and lost one such game since Mike Tomin took over as coach in 2007. Here are those results:

2010: vs. Browns, W 28-10

2009: at Broncos, W 28-10

2008: at Bengals, W 27-10

2007: at Broncos, L 31-28

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