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Notebook: Punter says knee is ready to go

Jerry DiPaola
| Monday, Aug. 4, 2003

Steelers punter Josh Miller practiced for the first time this morning and declared his surgically-repaired right knee ready to go. He wore a knee brace, though.

"I feel good enough to kick the ball, so I came out here and gave it a shot," he said.

Miller said the brace is probably a permanent fixture.

"I don't know if I need it, but, mentally, it feels pretty good. Kickers, mentally, have to be as sound as you can, so I'll keep it on."

Miller was pleased with his effort.

"The get-offs were what they need to be in the game. I'm getting pretty good pop on the ball, with a 4.7-second hang time and 45-50 yards.

Miller has a new punting partner after the Steelers signed rookie Glen Pakulak today. Pakulak, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, was released by the Seattle Seahawks when they signed Tom Rouen, who replaced Miller late last season when Miller had shoulder surgery.

Punter Mike Hayes, a 27-year-old rookie, was released.


Outside linebacker Jason Gildon said the secret to becoming a good pass rusher is persistence.

"I think you definitely have to be motivated to do it," he said. "You can't give up, regardless of how many sacks you have halfway into the season or with three games to go in the season. You definitely have to approach every game like today is going to be a day I go out and get five. I think that's the key."


Running back Amos Zereoue (foot) returned to practice this morning after missing two days, but cornerback Hank Poteat (shoulder) remained out. Cornerback Chidi Iwuoma (ankle) returned, but practiced on a limited basis. Punter Josh Miller was taken off the physically unable to perform list, but was still wearing a knee brace when he punted. Quarterback Tim Levcik (knee) is a long way from returning. Guard Kendall Simmons (high blood sugar) ran on the side. ... Practice was moved to the lower fields this morning because the upper field was too wet. Workers set up a field in the middle of a large open area because the sides were soggy. ... Wide receiver Plaxico Burress made an outstanding one-handed catch on a pass from quarterback Brian St. Pierre, with cornerback Dewayne Washington in pursuit.

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