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As a Steeler assistant, Whisenhunt noted Cowher’s every word

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy Friday.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy Friday.

TAMPA, Fla. – Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt learned the importance of taking notes early in his NFL career, and he continued it when became a head coach.

As an assistant with the Steelers under Bill Cowher, Whisenhunt took notes on what Cowher said to his team and how he said it.

“I told coach Cowher that I have notebooks with little tabs in there from when he spoke before the championship game, when he spoke before the Super Bowl, when he spoke at the mini-camp meeting, all of those things,” Whisenhunt said.

Whisenhunt also took notes while playing and working for coaches such as Dan Henning and Joe Gibbs.

Down time

The Cardinals went through a light practice Friday and will have a walk-through Saturday morning. After that, the players have some free time before meeting Saturday night.

That’s the team’s normal schedule, which Whisenhunt has tried to maintain this week.

“There’s a lot of family here and a lot of excitement,” Whisenhunt said.

“Losing that focus in that time is always a concern. We’ve talked about that. Our leaders understand that, and we recognize where we are and what we’ve done to get here.”

Steelers ready to go

TAMPA, Fla. – If it seemed the Pittsburgh Steelers were repeating themselves Friday during their final full practice for the Super Bowl, they were.

Coach Mike Tomlin’s staff put in the game plan for Arizona last week. Tomlin didn’t want to stray from the normal practice week routine, so this week’s practices were nearly the same on the corresponding days as those during the off week in Pittsburgh.

“This week was a redo,” Tomlin told a pool reporter assigned by the Pro Football Writers of America. “We didn’t have the sense of urgency we might normally have in a practice week, but that’s because the guys have seen it all once.”

Wide receiver Hines Ward (sprained right knee ligament) went through the full 1-hour, 50-minute practice in unseasonably cool 55-degree weather. He is listed as probable.

Ward and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger both looked sharp during a practice in which the Steelers piped in crowd noise to replicate game conditions.

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