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Flu bug biting Steelers; defense prepares for chess match

Talk to any Pittsburgh Steeler this week and they'll tell you the same thing. The razor sharp focus they have preparing for the Patriots is the same one they've had all season.

PITTSBURGH -- Talk to any Pittsburgh Steeler this week and they'll tell you the same thing. The razor sharp focus they have preparing for the Patriots is the same one they've had all season.

"Put it like this, from a practice standpoint we're all just continuing to focus on details," linebacker Arthur Moats told 6 Sports.

"Obviously we understand the significance of this matchup."

For left tackle Alejandro Villanueva getting ready to play in a game with a Super Bowl on the line is a brand new experience. But not one that would rattle the former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan before kicking off his NFL career.

"I'm not going to say it's like a preseason game, but the mentality and the focus is the same every week in this building," Villanueva told 6 Sports.

Besides prepping for Tom Brady and the Patriots, the Steelers are also battling a pesky flu bug this week. In the past two days five players were listed as dealing with an illness on the team's practice report.

Tight end Ladarius Green (concussion) practiced Wednesday, but was held out Thursday (illness).

Head coach Mike Tomlin said Thursday he doesn't expect the bug to hamper his team come kickoff.

The AFC Championship gets underway at 6:40 Sunday at Gillette Stadium.


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