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Mike Tomlin says London trip is business for Steelers

  • By Henry Hodgson NFL.com
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LONDON -- The Pittsburgh Steelers arrived in London on Friday morning after flying overnight ahead of their game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium.

The Steelers took a different approach to their opponents to playing a game overseas, preferring to spend the week preparing in the familiar territory of their practice facility. The Vikings, meanwhile, arrived Monday and have been acclimatizing in a hotel outside of London, practicing on a field just yards from their accommodations.

It was a tired group of Steelers players who met the media for their first assignment on arrival in London.

"I slept about two hours on the plane," linebacker Lamar Woodley said. "I'm alright. We've got practice later on, so you have to just get ready to work and deal with it."

Cornerback Ike Taylor was in high spirits -- or just delirious with exhaustion -- as he took his first questions from the assembled media, which largely was a British contingent.

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2013 International Series

Take a look at photos of the NFL across the pond as the Steelers and Vikings prepare for battle.

"I love your accent," Taylor said after receiving the first question at the podium. "Say that again, please."

The 11-year veteran had the media laughing as he said, "I would love to meet the Queen. She's the head lady." Taylor also appealed to the press to toss some British slang words to him so that he could fit in while in London.

Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, was enthused with the passion of the British fans he encountered on a promotional trip to London earlier this year.

"It's an awesome honor. I want to represent the black and gold and the NFL," the two-time Super Bowl winner said. "I knew we had fans all over the world, but the last time I was here I got to meet them and see a bunch of them."

Inevitably, Roethlisberger was asked about the famous London landmark with which he shares a nickname.

"People keep asking me how many times I'm going to hear that joke this week," 'Big Ben' said. "I'm supposed to keep count of how many times people mention it."

For all the fun, though, the Steelers made it clear that they aren't in London for anything but a victory Sunday. With an 0-4 start essentially spelling doom for an NFL team -- only the 1992 Chargers have made it to the postseason after losing their first four games -- the novelty of playing a game in London will be overshadowed by the urgency of needing that first win.

"I'm not here for a vacation, I am here to work," coach Mike Tomlin said as he closed his portion of the news conference.

"For us every game is a must-win," Roethlisberger said. "That's the way we approach every game. The only difference this week is that we're in a different country."

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