Tomlin bans games in locker room

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers' locker room has gone from restrictions on games such as pool and pingpong to a recreation-free zone.

Coach Mike Tomlin has banned all games in the locker room after the team's 0-4 start, extending a prohibition that had applied to only players with less than four years of experience.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette earlier reported Tomlin's edict.

"It makes everything focus on football right now," left guard Ramon Foster said, "which is A-OK with me."

Free safety Ryan Clark agreed.

"Nobody is really tripping about it," the 12th-year veteran said. "We understand the spirit in which it's done in, and we're just playing football."

A group of veteran players that included Clark, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end Brett Keisel had prohibited younger players from playing games in the locker room during working hours after the team's 0-2 start.

Tomlin had supported the ruling because of the spirit in which it was handed down.

The seventh-year coach apparently had a change of heart with the Steelers still in search of their first win Sunday when they visit the New York Jets.

"It divided the team in a way since one set of people couldn't do a certain thing," said Clark, one the Steelers' captains. "[Tomlin] just wanted everybody to be together because we're all in the losses together. We're all in the business of fixing this problem together, and we didn't want anything to divide us."