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hawaiiansteel
07-29-2011, 10:42 PM
there you have it, Kyle Jolly is our new starting LT... :D

aren't you glad we have this type of news again instead of talking about the lockout? :tt2


FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

First day notes


The Steelers opened their first practice with Chris Scott at RT, Kyle Jolly at LT and Keith Williams at LG in their first-team offense.

Keenan Lewis was running with the first team defense in place of Ike Taylor.

Veterans who signed free agent deals - or who signed their restricted offer sheets - aren't allowed to practice until Aug. 4.

© Troy Polamalu said he still isn't 100 percent recovered from his Achilles' tendon injury, but he's getting close.

He has a month to go before games begin and Polamalu is shooting for 100 percent by then.

© First-round pick Cameron Heyward missed the first 15 minutes of practice in the afternoon after signing his contract.

Then the practice was shortened by rain. Talk about timing.

© Curtis Brown has also signed, giving the Steelers all seven draft picks under contract.

© Ben Roethlisberger said there are no hard feelings between he and James Harrison.

Harrison said he should not have said what he did about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Hines Ward said he learned a valuable lesson.

Rashard Mendenhall said very little despite being given an opportunity to do so – though Mike Tomlin did yell over to the running back when he was cornered by reporters, "Sucks to be you Rashard."

© Don't expect any disciplinary action from the NFL for Ward, Harrison or Mendenhall.

posted by Dale Lolley @ 7:04 PM

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

Djfan
07-29-2011, 11:11 PM
Mike Tomlin did yell over to the running back when he was cornered by reporters, "Sucks to be you Rashard."




Awesome.

hawaiiansteel
07-29-2011, 11:15 PM
Friday Practice Report: Heyward ready to go, QB's rusty in 1st workout

7:09pm - Fri, Jul 29th, 2011 by Dale Grdnic

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Practice-Report.jpg

LATROBE, Pa. -- Count Cam Heyward's among those who hate to be late, so while the Pittsburgh Steelers were elated to get their No. 1 draft pick signed, sealed and delivered to training camp Friday at Saint Vincent College it was killing the former Ohio State defensive end to miss half the opening practice.

The Steelers afternoon practice begins around 3 p.m., and it was some 45 minutes later by the time Heyward made it down to the field in full gear. And that would not have gone over too well with his late father, former Pitt All-America running back Craig "Ironhead'' Heyward.

"He'd be pretty mad at me right now,'' Cam Heyward said. "That's something me and my brothers always struggled with, because we hate to be late. Even when my mom was always all over the place, we hate it when we're late. He'd be saying 'get your butt in there and get to work.' So, I've got a lot to learn.''

Steelers President Art Rooney II introduced Heyward and noted that the 6-foot-5, 288-pounder did things out of order because "he already had his first practice.'' Heyward didn't do much, though, primarily working with associate strength and conditioning coach Marcel Pastoor.

"I'm sorry for being a little late, but I'll make it up,'' Heyward said. "I'll start to get into the playbook and take advantage of this time. The season's right around the corner, so I'm looking to contribute and learn from these guys. ... With everything that's gone on, the sooner the better it was for me to get here.

"I haven't put on a helmet since Jan. 4 (the Buckeyes' bowl game), so it's been a long time. I missed too much. I'm a guy who'd rather be out there 10 minutes early, so I've got to make this up. Right now, guys are ahead of me, so I have to take it one day at a time and get going.''

With veteran Nick Eason moving on to Pittsburgh West, the Arizona Cardinals, Heyward should quickly move among the top four defensive ends with Brett Keisel, Aaron Smith and Ziggy Hood. He should know a little more about his status during Saturday's practice, but it likely will be backing up Keisel.

With every starter returning this season, the Steelers defense really hasn't been shaken too much so far. Although, backup nose tackle Chris Hoke and reserve cornerback Willie Gay have not yet signed free-agent contracts. Third-round corner Curtis Brown was the final rookie draft pick to sign about 6 p.m.

Offensively, however, the front line basically is a mess. The opening offensive tackles in Friday's practice were Kyle Jolly on the left side and Chris Scott on the right.

First-year player Jolly was on the left side, while second-year pro Scott was on the right. Jolly was on the practice squad last year, while Scott was on the PUP all year until Max Starks went on injured reserve. Scott was then moved to the 53-man roster to finish off the year.

The quarterback rotation went with Ben Roethlisberger to start, Byron Leftwich in the No. 2 spot and Charlie Batch at No. 3. Nobody else saw action in team drills, but not surprisingly neither looked too sharp.

And all three were pressured tremendously from the outset.

Roethlisberger was picked off by cornerback Bryant McFadden, while rookie Cortez Allen had a nice pass breakup on a Leftwich pass.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... out/40916/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/friday-practice-report-heyward-ready-to-go-qbs-rusty-in-1st-workout/40916/)

MeetJoeGreene
07-29-2011, 11:24 PM
Mike Tomlin did yell over to the running back when he was cornered by reporters, "Sucks to be you Rashard."




Awesome.
+1
:Agree :Agree

hawaiiansteel
07-30-2011, 07:24 PM
Saturday Practice Report: Rookie Batch, Steelers looking like a match early on

7:08pm - Sat, Jul 30th, 2011 by Dale Grdnic
By Dale Grdnic

http://www.redraiders.com/wp-content/uploads//batch1.jpg

LATROBE, Pa. -- It's not easy for rookie seventh-round draft picks like Baron Batch to make an NFL roster, but the 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back from Texas Tech certainly has a great opportunity with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers third-down back the past few years, Mewelde Moore, is still an unsigned free agent. And Batch is as prototypical as it gets for third-down backs, so this appears to be a perfectly made match.

"Whatever I can do to help this team, whatever they ask me to do, that's what I'm going to try to do,'' Batch said Saturday after his first full practice. "If that's in pass-protection or special teams, I'm just trying to find my niche with everybody and keep improving.
"So, it's just a blessing for me. I didn't get any all-star game invites or an invite to the NFL Combine, but the Steelers gave me an opportunity by drafting me in the seventh round. And that just proves that hard work pays off, so I want to show them that they didn't make a mistake.''

There were two plays that stood out during 7-on-7 drills. On one, Batch swung out of the backfield, caught a short pass and made a move that helped him pick up a first down. Later, he took a pitch and swept left, but once he got around the end he cut back to the right and out-ran the pursuit for a long gain.

"It was just a free release, but what's funny is that I messed up on that earlier in practice,'' Batch said about the catch and run. "But that really epitomizes this camp. You can't make the same mistake twice, and I think that's something the coaches are looking for. There's going to be some mistakes, but once you get told about it you can't do it again.

"So, I ran the wrong play earlier when that was called, but I ran it correctly the next time and it broke open pretty well for me. It's definitely faster than it was in college, so I just have to keep getting better, staying in the playbook, eliminating mistakes and paying attention to detail. But I think I'm picking things up a little quick, though, and nothing has really surprised me yet.''

Another rookie with a bright future for the Steelers is No. 1 pick Cam Heyward. While the 6-5, 288-pound defensive end didn't make as many plays as Batch, he certainly will get a chance Sunday when the Steelers have full contact drills for the first time since before the Super Bowl.

"I think it was a good practice for me, but I still have to improve a lot,'' Heyward said. "And I'll get another chance (Sunday). So, I have to take the things I learned from this one and move on to the next one. You can't be overwhelmed. You've got to be mellow about it and take things in stride and just try to improve every play.

"I've always heard a lot about the NFL, so I really wasn't surprised by anything. But I'm just going to keep learning. I've got the best defensive linemen in the NFL and the best coach, so I get to learn from two of the best things you could ever have in football. And I'm going to take advantage of every chance that I get. It's a great opportunity.''

Practice Update

While quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sharp in third-down drills and 7-on-7 situations, Byron Leftwich connected with Tyler Grisham down the sideline despite good coverage from cornerback Crezdon Butler in 11-on-11.

Sweed had two nice catches in traffic and broke into the open afterward, displaying some breakaway speed.

Leftwich also fired a fastball high and wide downfield that 6-8, 233-pound former West Virginia wideout Wes Lyons somehow pulled down.

Mike Wallace also looked sharp on short routes, beating cornerback Bryant McFadden to a spot on an out and then breaking open a bit down the sideline.

Roethlisberger's long pass faded to the inside and wasn't bad, but Wallace and McFadden were locked up and it hit the ground without either touching it.

The only interception came off a deflection. Tight end David Johnson, who caught some nice first-down passes out of the backfield and from a tight spot, went out a little longer on this one. He nearly made a spectacular grab, but Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith had tight coverage and pulled in the carom.

Notes: Along with big-name free-agent Plaxico Burress, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said that the club met with veteran tight end Daniel Graham. The former No. 1 pick for the New England Patriots, he played for them from 2002-06 and moved on to the Denver Broncos from 2007-10. He has 222 career catches for 2,465 yards and 24 touchdowns, but is known for his blocking.

Tomlin also announced a few minor injuries after practice. Wideout Emmanuel Sanders had some discomfort in his foot, so he'll get a couple days off to rest. Second-round offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert and wideout Limas Sweed had hamstring injuries, but Sweed returned after tweaking his. Also, cornerback Curtis Brown, the third-round pick, had an illness believed to be heat-related. He left the field and was taken to the locker room on a golf cart.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... -on/40953/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/saturday-practice-report-rookie-batch-catching-some-eyes-early-on/40953/)

Oviedo
07-30-2011, 07:37 PM
Sweed had two nice catches in traffic and broke into the open afterward, displaying some breakaway speed.

Who needs Burress???????

If healthy Sweed is exactly what we need to help draw over the top safety coverage away from Wallace.

grotonsteel
07-30-2011, 09:12 PM
Sweed had two nice catches in traffic and broke into the open afterward, displaying some breakaway speed.

Who needs Burress???????

If healthy Sweed is exactly what we need to help draw over the top safety coverage away from Wallace.


I think its just not about Sweed. Few tidbits from the practice

Sanders foot problems on the surgically repaired foot after only the second practice.
Sweed is having Hammy issues.

Now i am not sure how serious these problems are but if Manny is not able to go this season Steelers WR are in trouble. You got Wallace and Hines. Brown IMO is not a 3rd WR on the team.


Sweed completely unknown. I hope he does well but i am not holding my breath.


With so many unknowns in Steelers WR corps i prefer bringing a veteran.

Snatch98
07-30-2011, 11:57 PM
Signing Plexico does not mean the demise of our young crop. If anything he'd help Sweed and I don't think the Steelers are going to give up on Limas. If they were going to they would have already. If Burress signs with the Steelers there will be a distinct reason and if he's in old form he immediately helps our team. All reports indicate he's in great shape and the 20 months he spent in jail were 20 months he wasn't on the football field so his age is less of a factor. I'd LOVE a Burress return trip.

Steel Life
07-31-2011, 10:06 AM
I'd pass on Burress (no pun intended) & instead develop what we already have - quite possibly the fastest WR corps (except for Hines of course) in the NFL. Brown needs to get reps to develop the promise we saw at the end of the season & he could be as good as Sanders...especiailly if Sanders shows any ill-effects from the foot surgery. If I had to sign one veteran big WR, it would've been either Malcom Floyd or Legadu Naane who both have size & surprising speed along with a high YPC average. For now though, I hope they give Sweed every opportunity to show he's a keeper.

steelblood
07-31-2011, 11:46 AM
antonio brown can be a great slot receiver. He cannot work outside the numbers like Sanders can.

I'm excited about Batch. The kid is very smart. Even with an abbreviated preseason, he has a great chance to open the season as the 3rd down back. I'd like to see him to some KO returns as well.

Oviedo
07-31-2011, 03:31 PM
antonio brown can be a great slot receiver. He cannot work outside the numbers like Sanders can.

I'm excited about Batch. The kid is very smart. Even with an abbreviated preseason, he has a great chance to open the season as the 3rd down back. I'd like to see him to some KO returns as well.

I actually see Sanders as a slot guy too. The issue with our WRs is that we are loaded with slot guys like Hines, Sanders and Brown and need someone else on the outside to take some of the over the top safety coverage away from Wallace. That is why I'm still pulling for Sweed because he would be perfect in that role with his size and excellent speed.

Steel Life
07-31-2011, 03:44 PM
antonio brown can be a great slot receiver. He cannot work outside the numbers like Sanders can.

I'm excited about Batch. The kid is very smart. Even with an abbreviated preseason, he has a great chance to open the season as the 3rd down back. I'd like to see him to some KO returns as well.

I actually see Sanders as a slot guy too. The issue with our WRs is that we are loaded with slot guys like Hines, Sanders and Brown and need someone else on the outside to take some of the over the top safety coverage away from Wallace. That is why I'm still pulling for Sweed because he would be perfect in that role with his size and excellent speed.
:Agree

hawaiiansteel
08-01-2011, 01:33 AM
View from the Sidelines: July 31st at Steelers Training Camp

by Simonsen on Jul 31, 2011

http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/1684138/85325_Steelers_Camp_Football.jpg

Bryant McFadden intercepts a pass in tnded for Mike Wallace during Sunday's training camp at Saint Vincent College. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

My notes from the practice itself follow:

Unfortunately, a few of the Steelers that I was particularly interested in watching did not practice. Limas Sweed still sat out with Achilles problems, Keenan Lewis stood on the sidelines with his jersey on but his pads off, Emmanuel Sanders was still dealing with foot issues, Chris Scott also sat out practice, and Curtis Brown had to leave early due to his illness. The rest though was definitely fun to watch.

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/673866/2011-07-31_15.14.06_medium.jpg

The Running Backs: in individual drills, fan favorite Baron Batch seemed overwhelmed and didn't hit the dummies straight on. At one point, he even got knocked into the framework of a punching bag apparently designed to improve ball security, hitting his head off an steel pole. On the other hand, both Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay looked powerful in RB drills. However, the roles were reversed in the first installment of this year's backs on backers. Here, both Dwyer and Clay looked completely overmatched, getting run over by the likes of Stevenson Sylvester and Jason Worilds. On the other hand, after a mediocre start Baron Batch looked great, standing up James Harrison and Worilds, and even knocked the latter on his back once. Blocking Harrison got a roar from the crowd together with raucious cheers from Tomlin and Arians, who hugged the young back yelling "That's what I'm Talking About!" Scrimmage was Isaac Redman's time to shine, as he went through the hole hard for two huge gains on the first two plays.

Mendenhall and Batch also had a couple of great-looking cut backs and runs in scrimmage. Also nice to see: Redman tutoring Batch after the latter was confused on how to attack a blocking sled.

The Wide Receivers: Hines Ward was unable to practice, but ran sprints on the turf field nearby with a trainer. Mike Wallace looked sharp on his routes, but dropped a couple of balls in the drills (one of which was an admittedly poor throw from Charlie Batch) and was not on the same page with Ben on a deep ball in scrimmage that was intercepted by Bryant McFadden (picture above). Emmanuel Sanders was held out of practice, while Antonio Brown seemed to miss hot reads more than once. It's only the beginning of camp though, so I won't read too much into it. Both Arnaz Battle and Tyler Grisham on the other hand had some nice catches in scrimmage. In unrelated news, Wes Lyons is one tall human being!

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/673886/2011-07-31_15.17.55_medium.jpg

Tight Ends: Heath Miller is a beast. Is that really news? Mr. dependable made nothing but play after play in practice, catching passes over the middle repeatedly in scrimmages and sneaking behind the defense for a touchdown in the two minute drill. He seemed to be consciously held out of blocking drills and backs on backers, which I am perfectly fine with - we need him to be healthy. Speaking of backs on backers, I finally saw why so many here consider Weslye Saunders to have a good chance at making the roster. The guy can block, and has a mean streak to him - he repeatedly stood up linebackers in practice, and had to be told to stop blocking almost every single time.

More often than not, the LB he blocked ended up on his behind. Definitely the strongest person facing linebackers in that drill. He also looked pretty good in pass protection in scrimmage, but I didn't see him catch or even targeted for a single pass.

The Quarterbacks: Not much to say here that people don't already know. Ben, who wore a #78 jersey today in honor of Max Starks looked sharp, even scrambling for 20+ yards and a first down in scrimmage. The interception by McFadden was his only blemish. Batch and Leftwich both looked sharp, which they need to be considering Dennis Dixon is reportedly asking for a trade to a team where he has the chance to start.

Offensive Line: Maurkice Pouncey looks like even more of a beast up close! So does the entire line, who for the majority of the time practiced on a field too far away for me to judge them. Kemo wasn't practicing, but worked out with trainers throughout the practice. Colon on the other hand could be seen tutoring other linemen.

The Defense: was mainly practicing far away from us, so I can't report much there.

Highlights include Ziggy hood tackling a blocking sled so hard that it literally flipped over ('grown-ass man strength!'), Jason Worilds showing a few nice moves in backs on backers, and McFadden matching Mike Wallace step for step on his interception (a nice over-the-shoulder catch). From the two practices that I have seen so far, McFadden looks like a true starting corner, covering whoever lines up opposite him - let's hope that continues into the season.

Mike Tomlin: How can you not love the guy? Dressed in a black long-sleeve shirt and long black pants (most on here know the story behind that by now), he was seemingly everywhere. Tutoring the defensive backs, standing with Coach Kugler harrassing OLinemen, cheering on backs on backers, playing ref in scrimmages, and greeting ESPN AFC North Blogger James Walker (who picked the Ravens to win the division this year) with "What's up, Baltimore James?" The guy is a joy to watch.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... s-pictures (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/7/31/2308159/steelers-training-camp-notes-pictures)

hawaiiansteel
08-02-2011, 07:12 PM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 02, 2011

Tuesday at training camp

The Steelers returned to work on Tuesday after being off Monday and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was on crutches.

Sanders had a procedure on his sore left foot, getting bone marrow from his heel injected into the area in which he had a stress fracture during the offseason.

Sanders expects to be back in two to three weeks.

© The highlight of today's practice was the linebackers vs. tight ends running drill.

I watched rookie Chris Carter, a fifth-round pick out of Fresno State a lot - as did coach Mike Tomlin.

Carter looks small compared to the team's other linebackers and that showed up in this drill. He pretty much got overpowered by anyone he went up against.

He looked better in one-on-one pass rushing drills later, but he needs to work on his functional strength.

Tomlin was riding second-year linebacker Jason Worilds pretty good throughout the drill.

Worilds told me he has added some muscle this season and is up to 257 pounds. He looked like Carter last season, so there is some hope there.

© Starring for the tight ends in the drill was first-year player Jamie McCoy. McCoy showed strong hands and good strength. He does duck his head some at contact, but that can possibly be coached out of him.

© Rookie offensive lineman Keith Williams is starting at left guard, at least until Thursday, and he has shown some pretty good nasty.

On an inside run drill Tuesday, he caught a blitzing Larry Foote and drove him into the ground.

He also held his own in one-on-one passing drills against first-round pick Cameron Heyward. Looks like the sixth-round draft pick might have a future here.

© The more I see of the punters in camp, the more sense it makes that the team resigned Daniel Sepulveda. I've seen my fill of 30 and 35-yard kicks.

posted by Dale Lolley @ 5:51 PM

http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/

D Rock
08-02-2011, 07:51 PM
how is it possible that these punters can only kick 30 and 35 yarders?


My best friend was a highschool punter and only a backup punter at a small college. I've caught punts for him before...He can easily out kick that. What gives?

flippy
08-02-2011, 07:59 PM
antonio brown can be a great slot receiver. He cannot work outside the numbers like Sanders can.

I'm excited about Batch. The kid is very smart. Even with an abbreviated preseason, he has a great chance to open the season as the 3rd down back. I'd like to see him to some KO returns as well.

I actually see Sanders as a slot guy too. The issue with our WRs is that we are loaded with slot guys like Hines, Sanders and Brown and need someone else on the outside to take some of the over the top safety coverage away from Wallace. That is why I'm still pulling for Sweed because he would be perfect in that role with his size and excellent speed.

No respect for Tyler Grisham around here. I really like the kid, but there's a logjam in front of him.

hawaiiansteel
08-03-2011, 02:20 AM
Tuesday Practice Report: Count rookie G Keith Williams among those taking advantage of early opportunity

Tue, Aug 2nd, 2011
By Dale Grdnic

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Keith-Williams-copy-388x258.jpg

LATROBE, Pa. -- During a second full day in pads during training camp Tuesday at Saint Vincent College, the Pittsburgh Steelers reeled off another 2 1/2-hour practice that featured two red-zone drills and one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive line and outside linebackers and tight ends.

With many veterans not allowed to practice due to the new CBA and others not able to practice due to various injuries, several young Steelers are getting more work during this opening week than would usually be available. Count rookie sixth-round pick Keith Williams from Nebraska among those taking advantage.

"Yes, this is a great opportunity for me to show the coaches and the whole team that I can play ball, that I can be a pro,'' Williams said. "So, I have to limit my mistakes, keep working hard and take advantage of every chance I get.''

Williams was among the first competitors against the defense, and he was handled against Cam Heyward, while center Maurkice Pouncey beat Steve McLendon three straight times. And Ramon Foster had little to no trouble with Ziggy Hood during several attempts. And Chris Ellis had trouble getting around second-year player Chris Scott.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin finally had something positive to say about a young player, but only briefly.

"We had some good work today to continue on with our team development,'' Tomlin said. "We had some more interesting competition in our competition periods like tight ends versus linebackers, which was a featured drill, and run-blocking. ... There were some minor training-camp (injuries).

"Those things are unfortunate, but they provide opportunities for others. So, I think we had some guys, like our young corners, take advantage with the short lines today. They got in some quality work. One of them is (third-round pick) Curtis Brown, who's a highly-conditioned young man. I liked his effort.''

During the first-team red-zone, Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted in the back of the end zone by Cromartie-Smith. His next rocket sailed through the end zone with Mike Wallace and Ryan Clark waiving at it to no avail.

Quarterback Chris Dieker, the rookie from Southern Illinois, got a few reps and had short tosses to 6-foot-7 Eric Greenwood from Idaho and Terrance McCrae that went for touchdowns.

No. 2 quarterback Byron Leftwich got a chance and rifled a pass wide of Arnaz Battle, and his diving attempt came up short. Leftwich hit Greenwood sailing across the middle for a TD on his next chance.

Isaac Redman had two chances for big plays during the run-blocking drills. He muffed a toss and was popped by James Harrison, who knocked the ball loose.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... ity/41115/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/tuesday-practice-report-count-rookie-g-keith-williams-among-those-making-most-of-early-opportunity/41115/)

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-03-2011, 10:56 AM
I'd pass on Burress (no pun intended)

If you really wanted to use a pun you would have gone with "I wouldn't take a shot on Burress." :lol:

flippy
08-03-2011, 11:06 AM
[quote="Steel Life":334druo7]I'd pass on Burress (no pun intended)

If you really wanted to use a pun you would have gone with "I wouldn't take a shot on Burress." :lol:[/quote:334druo7]

Unfortunately, the Jets pulled the trigger on Burress, so we didn't get our shot.

Shawn
08-03-2011, 12:01 PM
how is it possible that these punters can only kick 30 and 35 yarders?


My best friend was a highschool punter and only a backup punter at a small college. I've caught punts for him before...He can easily out kick that. What gives?

At 37 I bet I can punt a ball 30 yards. But, I think the difference is NFL hang time.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-03-2011, 12:29 PM
how is it possible that these punters can only kick 30 and 35 yarders?


My best friend was a highschool punter and only a backup punter at a small college. I've caught punts for him before...He can easily out kick that. What gives?

At 37 I bet I can punt a ball 30 yards. But, I think the difference is NFL hang time.

To steal from an old golf joke......I can punt the ball 30 as well.....15 up, 15 down. :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
08-03-2011, 01:24 PM
Count rookie G Keith Williams among those taking advantage of early opportunity


Practicing head-to-head against Ndomakong Suh for the majority of his college career likely helped to prepare him for this opportunity.

D Rock
08-03-2011, 06:23 PM
how is it possible that these punters can only kick 30 and 35 yarders?


My best friend was a highschool punter and only a backup punter at a small college. I've caught punts for him before...He can easily out kick that. What gives?

At 37 I bet I can punt a ball 30 yards. But, I think the difference is NFL hang time.


Hang time helps on a 45-50 yard punt because it limits the chance for a big return. Hang time does nothing on a 30-35 yard punt because it's still just a 35 yard punt. And that sucks whether it's returned or not.

hawaiiansteel
08-03-2011, 08:55 PM
Practice report for Aug. 3

By Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest


LATROBE, Pa. – For things to take root, grow and then blossom, a mixture of sun and water is required. Since coming to Saint Vincent College, the Steelers have been well-watered, and Coach Mike Tomlin probably wouldn’t mind seeing a series of days of sunshine right about now.

The Steelers were rained out on July 29, or more accurately they were chased from the field by lightning, and on Wednesday they were forced to move their practice to the artificial turf field because of a persistent rain that began overnight.

When it became clear that a heavy rain was going to fall overnight, the tarps were dragged out and used to cover the three grass fields. The tarps stayed on until the morning, but then another burst of rain hit the area in the early afternoon.

With practice scheduled to begin at 2:55 p.m., the decision was made to conduct it on the turf. There was only a slight drizzle falling toward the end of the session, but conducting a full practice with some 80 players could have damaged the grass fields, and the Steelers still have two full weeks here.

Given that, Tomlin was upbeat about the session when it was over.

“Very productive day for us out here,” said Tomlin. “We got some good, quality work in and we’re starting to see the fruit of some of our labor. We’re playing better from an assignment standpoint. Of course, we still have miles to go technically. It’s going to take a great number of snaps to get some of the technical things down but we know and understand that. I like our energy and enthusiasm and how we’ve been working and we’ll just continue with the process.”

The process was supposed to get a big boost tomorrow – Thursday, Aug. 4 – because that was supposed to be the start of the league year, the day when the $120-odd million salary cap went into effect and when all of the players who have signed new contracts since the lockout was lifted would be eligible to return to practice. But over the course of the day, word leaked that there still were issues to resolve, and if the process isn’t completed in time then the league year would not open on Aug. 4.

The Steelers players whose ability to participate in practice hinges on the ratification of the new CBA are Dennis Dixon, Mewelde Moore, Doug Legursky, Willie Colon, Tony Hills, Jonathan Scott, John Gilmore, Chris Hoke, William Gay, Ike Taylor, Ryan Mundy, Jeremy Kapinos, Daniel Sepulveda, Shaun Suisham and Greg Warren.

“We’re anticipating (ratification),” said Tomlin. “Of course, I’m hearing rumors like you guys are hearing rumors. We’ll address those things as we get legitimate information. Right now, in my mind, I expect those guys to participate.”

The guys who are participating currently have been presented with an opportunity to attract more attention from the coaches, and some of the guys who did some interesting things on Tuesday included rookies Baron Batch and Curtis Brown, wide receiver Limas Sweed and cornerback Keenan Lewis.

Lewis got enough of a hand on a deep ball to Mike Wallace to force an incompletion, Brown continues to see a lot of playing time with the veteran players on defense, Sweed made a diving catch over the middle, and Batch showed some nice quickness and burst through the hole on running plays.

Tomorrow is another day, and if it turns out to be the day when Tomlin has everybody available to practice, that will be fine with him. If not, well, he doesn’t see it as a distraction.

“I don’t because we’re all dealing with it, so from that standpoint the playing field is level,” said Tomlin about an issue that will affect all teams either way. “I don’t worry about things that we all deal with, largely from a league standpoint. It’s not creating a competitive advantage or disadvantage, and that’s what concerns me as a football coach.”

INJURY UPDATE: “Somewhat of a laundry list of injuries, some training camp-like injuries,” said Tomlin. “OLB Erik Clanton has a quad, CB Cortez Allen still has a hamstring, CB Crezdon Butler has a hamstring, T Marcus Gilbert has a hamstring, CB Bryant McFadden has a hamstring, WR Emmanuel Sanders you guys know about, and, of course I took care of James Harrison and Troy Polamalu today (with a day off).”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 4db6596dcd (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Practice-report-for-Aug-3/470477e4-e2b4-42fe-909f-684db6596dcd)

hawaiiansteel
08-06-2011, 02:10 AM
Friday Practice Report: Defense steals the show in featured Backs-on-Backers drill

Fri, Aug 5th, 2011
By Dale Grdnic

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/FFFF-copy-388x258.jpg

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers took the field with "Renegade'' blaring through the loudspeakers, as training camp moved from Saint Vincent College to Latrobe Memorial Stadium for the club's annual night practice.

"It was an awesome evening here ... coming out in front of our fans,'' Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "We got some good work done, and we had our competition period -- backs-on-backers -- as a feature.''

The defense definitely got the best of the offense during this drill with LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Jason Worilds, Stevenson Sylvester and 6-foot-4, 271-pound fourth-year backer Baraka Atkins from Miami stealing the show.

Timmons got the better of Isaac Redman on two occasions, and James Farrior slipped past Mewelde Moore. Worilds tried to go wide on Moore a little later, and the running back held his own.

James Harrison shrugged off a block attempt by Rashard Mendenhall. Harrison also took on Heath Miller and beat him with a quick first step.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... ill/41236/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/friday-practice-report-defense-steals-the-show-in-features-backs-on-backers-drill/41236/)

NorthCoast
08-06-2011, 08:36 AM
Would really like to see Batch make this team. Moore has been a good third down back, but his blocking and production seems to have slipped the last couple of years. I know he is Tomlin's man, but some times you just gotta let go.

hawaiiansteel
08-06-2011, 10:42 PM
Friday Night Lights: August 6th Practice Report

by Michael Bean on Aug 6, 2011


My observations, as thorough as I could being an amateur note taker, follow.

Quarterbacks: Ben looks sharp, but that shouldn't be a surprise for anyone. For the third straight practice I have watched, he also tucked the ball in and ran for a first down. However, he also made some questionable dump-off decisions in a drill where the offense attempts to get a first down from its own 1 yard line - a couple of which could have easily been safeties. He easily completed the 2 minute drill with a nice 20 yard TD on a fade route to Antonio Brown. Byron Leftwich did well in scrimmage play, and seems to have found a favorite target in Arnaz Battle to whom he completed all of his passes during the 2 minute drill. One of them was a 35 yard TD on which Battle adjusted nicely, but that didn't count because Leftwich would have been sacked by Worilds on the play. Dennis Dixon didn't look impressive, and had a couple bad throws even in Wide Receiver drills.

Running Backs: Friday night featured another edition of backs on backers. Unfortunately, a huge circle formed around the players, which made it difficult to see exactly who won - no guarantees that I got the following right. From what I saw, Baron Batch added to his prominent backs on backers victims by standing up Lamarr Woodley. Woodley got his revenge on the next play however, when he threw down Batch. The young RB also won easily against Chris McCoy and held his own against Jason Worilds, but lost to a spin move by Mortty Ivy. Rashard Mendenhall got beaten by Lawrence Timmons and Stevenson Sylvester, but won against Ivy. Redman beat Timmons once and held his own against Sylvester, but also got beat by a swim move from Timmons twice. Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay where once again underwheliming, getting beat badly by the likes of Timmons, Sylvester, and Baraka Atkins. Finally, Mewelde Moore looked surprisingly good blocking, beating Atkins and Worilds twice, though he did get overpowered by Larry Foote. In scrimmages, Mendenhall had nice runs on the first two plays, one through the middle and one to the outside - each for first downs and more. Redman also had an impressive cutback through a hole for a first down, while Batch (interestingly playing with the 3rd team in front of Moore) had a nice run for five yards before first contact. Batch also had a drop in 7 on 7s, while James Johnson had a nice grab over the middle from Charlie Batch. In the above-mentioned 'reverse goal line' drill, Batch had a nice run for 5 yards in which he must have cut back at least 5 times but kept his feet turning to get some extra inches. Interesting note: in walk-throughs, only Mendenhall, Moore, Redman, and Dwyer were getting reps with the offense while Batch, Clay, and James Johnson got some extra work with coaches.

Wide Receivers: In individual drills, Antonio Brown, Tyler Grisham, and Adam Mims dropped some easy passes while Limas Sweed made some good catches in which he used his hands nicely, including a nice high-jumping grab. Wes Lyons had a great catch in a drill that matched up Wide Receivers with Defensive Backs, and Arnaz Battle also showed off his receiving skills. Brown had a great scene in which he faked out his defender by stopping on a dime for a huge gain, and had another nice catch in front of Keenan Lewis. Brown continues his roller coaster camp in which he has easy drops and is not on the same page with his QB, only to come back and make great plays. He had some huge plays in scrimmage while playing with the first team, including the above-mentioned TD, as well as an amazing play in which he was covered by Ike Taylor who knocked the ball out of his hands, only to adjust extremely well, still catch the ball, and turn the play into a huge play. He also had a couple of nice plays on returns in which he got to show off his speed. And he even made some fair catches when needed! Mike Wallace missed part of the scrimmages because he was being stretched, but returned for the end. He had some nice catches, but also dropped one in the WR drills only to come back and make a leaping catch his next turn. Additionally to his nice catches in the WR drills, Sweed had a couple of catches in 7 on 7 and 11 on 11, one of which was a catch at the ground. Another, on a throw by Leftwich in the 2 minute drill, was a great backwards catch along the sidelines that unfortunately was ruled out of bounds. Still, great effort. Finally, Sweed also got some work as a gunner on punt returns, where seemed to do a pretty good job getting down the field.

Tight Ends: Weslye Saunders had a couple of good catches in scrimmage, but also fumbled the ball on a violent hit by Ra'son Harris in the 'reverse goal-line drill' mentioned above. Heath Miller had an uncharacteristic drop in 7 on 7s, as did David Johnson in scrimmage plays - however, both also made some nice catches as safety valves for their QBs. UDFA Jame McCoy held his own against Timmons and Chris Ellis in backs on backers, but also got beat a few times - as did Saunders, who as far as I could tell did not repeat his surprise victories from Sunday. McCoy also was used on punt returns, and I was impressed by his effort on one occasion where he was the first person down the field to would-be-tackle the returner.

Offensive Line: The first team offensive line had two variations for walk-throughs and scrimmages. The first was (right to left) Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, Doug Legursky, and Willie Colon, while the second variation substituted Chris Scott for Legursky. As far as I could tell, the first team line did well blocking for both Ben and the running backs, opening some nice holes. The OL and DL also had what seemed like an intriguing drill going on behind the 7 on 7 scrimmage, in which an offensive lineman was matched up against a defensive counterpart similar to backs on backers. Unfortunately, because of the 7 on 7 drill, I was unable to watch what was going on there.

Defensive Line: As with the offensive line, I didn't see a lot. Harris did have the nice hit for a fumble on Saunders, and Aaron Smith continues getting first team reps and warrants them with the HOF play that we have come to expect from him. Aside from that, not much to report here.

Linebackers: You heard it here first (probably not, but it sounds good) - Stevenson Sylvester is a star in the making, and was easily the star of practice on Friday night. He dominated in backs on backers, winning against the likes of Mendenhall, multiple times against John Clay, Jonathan Dwyer, Redman, and others whose numbers I couldn't see. Additionally, he made some great plays in scrimmage, including snuffing out a RB screen for what would have been an easy safety. Larry Foote also did well in backs on backers, beating Mewelde Moore and David Johnson, as did James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley. Worilds had his moments as well, both in backs on backers and on the would-be sack on Leftwich mentioned above. I think it's safe to say that we don't need to worry about our pass rushers. Finally, Lawrence Timmons had what might have been the tackle of the day when he literally body slammed David Johnson on a dump of from Ben in 7 on 7s.

Defensive Backs: Where to begin? Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Crezdon Butler, and Bryant McFadden were not practicing, but Keenan Lewis returned to the field playing some first and second team defense. He had some very encouraging plays, including a couple of leaping catches for interceptions in individual drills and coverage on Battle and Mike Wallace who he matched stride for stride on a long ball to break up the pass. He also was worked as gunner on punt returns, and broke up a pass to Limas Sweed while not being able to hang on to a potential interception in the 11 on 11 scrimmage. Ike Taylor and Willie Gay looked decent as the starters, but did allow the TD drive on the 2 minute drill mentioned above; with the TD by Brown coming against coverage from Taylor. I was a little worried that while Butler was working out with trainers and the other injured defensive backs joined their teammates to watch during practice, Curtis Brown sat isolated by himself on a bench to watch. I hope I am reading too much into it, as he did join his teammates for the second half of practice.

Specialists: None of the kickers really stood out above the others; both Shaun Suisham and Swayze Waters had some nice field goals, from up to 50 yards out. Daniel Sepulveda boomed a few kicks, one of which I estimated to be at least 55 yards with great hang time. Jeremy Kapinos had the highest punt of the day, but also had a couple of 30 yard duds to go with his regular-length punts. Both were impressive in directional punting,and consistently placed their punts inside the 10 yard line. Adam Mims muffed a punt for a fumble, while Antonio Brown made sure he safely caught his before starting to run.

So much for my practice observations! Though long, they aren't nearly complete as there was so much going on that it was nearly impossible to watch everything at the same time. After practice, the night was topped off with fireworks at the stadium - a perfect ending to a great night. If you plan on making it down to Latrobe next year, I strongly suggest you consider the night practice!

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... #storyjump (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/8/6/2349022/friday-night-lights-august-6th-practice-report#storyjump)

hawaiiansteel
08-07-2011, 02:45 PM
Saturday Practice Notebook: RB's Dwyer, Batch & Clay get the nods in featured short-yardage offense

Sat, Aug 6th, 2011
By Dale Grdnic


LATROBE, Pa. -- Short-yardage and goal-line offense were the featured sessions for the Pittsburgh Steelers during training camp practice Saturday afternoon at muggy Saint Vincent College.

The defense ended with a big stop at the line to win the competition 4-3, as Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch and undrafted rookie free agent John Clay all took shots at the goal line, while Rashard Mendenhall, former goal-line drill hero Isaac Redman and basically the first-team offense and defense cheered wildly.

"I just wanted to see guys I don't know about,'' Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I know about Rashard Mendenhall, and I know about Isaac Redman. But I know less about the others, so they got the call.''

Dwyer got the opening nod and was stuffed before he got to the line. Chris Hoke penetrated in the middle and blew up the play. On second down, Dwyer was hit at the line, but he kept his legs going and got into the end zone for a score.........

Hoke again got a push inside, as Batch never got going on his first attempt. On second down, Batch ran a power set with David Johnson leading the way to an easy touchdown up the middle......

On the third attempt, Batch tried again to seal the win for the offense, but first-year outside linebacker Mortty Ivy from West Virginia and Stevenson Sylvester combined to put him down for minus-1......

So, it was 3-3 with everything riding on Clay from Wisconsin. And once again the defensive line held strong and the linebacking corps with Sylvester, Baraka Atkins and Ivy sealing the deal.....

"I didn't make all the plays,'' Ivy said. "I just contributed to our team effort. I missed the first one, so I didn't want to let that happen again. I ducked my head and missed that first one, but I thought he might want to cut back the second time so I made sure I secured the tackle. He ended up staying straight on.

"(And) being a player, I knew I had to put the last one behind me and go make a play. I knew it was (Batch), but that's what the coaches want to see. They want to see us competing against each other. He's shown a lot, so I hope I showed a little bit there, too. (But) the biggest thing is to perform on game days.''

Ivy (6-foot-1, 239 pounds) and Atkans (6-4, 271) were signed to futures contracts in January along with running backs James Johnson and Jamie McCoy and defensive back Donovan Warren. Ivy was on the Carolina (2009) and Miami (2010) practice squads, while Atkins played for Seattle and San Francisco. He had two sacks for the Seahawks in 2008.

The Steelers were without three first-team offensive linemen, as center Maurkice Pouncey (minor ankle sprain), tackle Jonathan Scott (ankle) and guard Ramon Foster (undisclosed) did not practice.

WRs Arnaz Battle (back spasms), Limas Sweed (left shoulder sprain) and Adam Mims (tight hamstring), along with DB Warren (hip flexor) were added to the injury list.

It's tough not to call Sweed a usual suspect, but he's had a couple different ailments already in camp, so we'll keep him on the new injury list. Those who have been on the list from nearly the beginning are CBs Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen, Bryant McFadden and Crezdon Butler with hamstring and quad injuries.

Also, NT Casey Hampton and OLB James Harrison were given the day off, while SS Troy Polamalu returned to practice. And OG Chris Kemoeatu appears to be getting closer to returning from his knee injury. He was running hard in a straight line with head trainer John Norwig and didn't appear to be in discomfort when coming out of his stance and pulling to each side.

The Steelers are off Sunday and return for 3 p.m. practices Monday through Wednesday. They leave Thursday to face the Washington Redskins Friday night.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... nse/41269/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/saturday-practice-notebook-rbs-dwyer-batch-clay-get-the-nods-in-featured-short-yardage-offense/41269/)

hawaiiansteel
08-08-2011, 07:57 PM
Monday's Practice Report: Hines returns with immediate impact in first team red-zone drills

Mon, Aug 8th, 2011
By Dale Grdnic

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Pouncey-222-copy-388x258.jpg

LATROBE, Pa. -- With Western Pennsylvania native Tom Corbett as the Governor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn't have any governmental problems in the state.

A self-described "Steeler,'' Corbett attended the club's training camp practice Monday afternoon at Saint Vincent College and couldn't have been more excited to see his favorite NFL team in action.

"I think everybody rallies around the Steelers, and it's great to be able to be back to see these guys,'' Corbett said. "The first thing I did when I moved into the Governor's residence was to put up the sign 'You're In Steelers Country' in the dining room. I wanted to make sure everybody knew which side of the state was working its way back to the Super Bowl.''

Corbett didn't expect to make an appearance at the Philadelphia Eagles camp.

"I haven't been invited over there,'' Corbett said. "I've been invited here by Mr. Rooney, so I'm here. ... I'm much more of a defensive guy. I played lacrosse in college, and I don't have the offensive skills.''

Roster Moves

The Steelers activated wide receiver Hines Ward to the roster from the Active-PUP List and signed rookie defensive end Jarrett Crittenton (6-6, 290) to their roster. Ward was placed on the PUP July 29 following thumb surgery.

The Steelers made room on their roster for Crittenton by releasing rookie defensive end Ty Boyle. Crittenton played collegiately at Middle Tennessee State and had 30 tackles with four sacks and 10.5 total stops behind the line last season. He originally signed with Seattle, but was injured in camp and cut.

Walking Wounded

True to his word, center Maurkice Pouncey (left ankle) returned to practice and did not miss a snap. Left offensive tackle Jonathan Scott also returned, but only worked out during the individual position drills and did not participate in the 11-on-11 portion. Guard Ramon Foster missed a second straight practice.

Wideout Limas Sweed (left shoulder sprain) also returned, but couldn't finish. Second-round pick Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) worked out for the first time on a limited and looked pretty good at second-team left tackle.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden dressed, but did not practice, while cornerback Crezdon Butler worked out during the individual position drills, but didn't participate in team sessions. Rookie cornerbacks Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen, the third- and fourth-round picks, respectively, missed another practice.

Left offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) has continued to work hard with the trainers, but he still has not joined his teammates for practice. James Harrison got the day off again and was replaced at right outside linebacker by Jason Worilds.

Depth Charting

The first-team offense had Tony Hills at left tackle, and Kyle Jolley on the right side. Pouncey was the center with Doug Legursky at left guard and Chris Scott at right guard. Scott also played second-team right tackle, while rookie Gilbert was on the left side.
The first-team defense remained the same except for Worilds moving into Harrison's spot and William Gay at left cornerback for McFadden. Ryan Mundy is the next safety off the bench after Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, while Lewis was the next corner after Gay and Ike Taylor.

Cameron Heyward made some plays from his second-team defensive end spot, and he primarily went up against Gilbert. The matchup was fairly even overall, but Gilbert made a fair amount of plays by stringing them out. Both players are strong and athletic.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... lls/41301/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/mondays-practice-report-hines-returns-with-immediate-impact-in-first-team-red-zone-drills/41301/)

Captain Lemming
08-08-2011, 08:47 PM
[quote="Steel Life":3aa4t0zz]I'd pass on Burress (no pun intended)

If you really wanted to use a pun you would have gone with "I wouldn't take a shot on Burress." :lol:

Unfortunately, the Jets pulled the trigger on Burress, so we didn't get our shot.[/quote:3aa4t0zz]

Stupid Jets.
Considering how old Burress is they just shot themselves in the foot, with that pick.

hawaiiansteel
08-09-2011, 10:56 PM
Eye-Catchers

by CRAIG WOLFLEY on AUGUST 9, 2011


Finally, after 10 or so days of training camp, we have a feeling of a little bit of flow. Normally after a week to 10 days, players find their “sea-legs.” Meaning that they start acclimating to the rigors of pads, hot weather and funny feeling beds.

Some of the young guns that are starting to make noise are Chris Carter, an outside linebacker who did very well in ‘Backers on TE’s run blocking and 1-on-1 pass rush. Carter suprised with exceptional pad level (meaning he’d hit grill on grill) and using his quickness to beat the TE across the face when they would try to hook him.

While engaged in severe pass rush mortal combat with 2nd round pick Marcus Gilbert, Carter showed a fine bull rush while splitting wins with Gilbert.

OT Gilbert needs to come into practice honked off. When he’s salty, Marcus showed some serious power in winning some 1-on-1?s against Carter. At least Gilbert is on the board now after sitting out with a hammie.

Free agent TE Wes Saunders is another guy who showed some winning stuff in the ‘backers on TE’s. Wes has a nice flat back, rolls over the front foot on his get-off, and punches through with the hips. His hands tend to get a little wide which will draw flags, but the structure is in place for him in run blocking. And he doesn’t look too shabby as a pass catcher either.

OL Chris Scott continues to keep his arrow pointed upwards. He’s rumpusing at G and looks like a good fit so far.

Antonio Brown is so quick he looks like a cuisinart on hi-speed when he jets through a route. This young man is taking advantage of the opportunity afforded to him by Manny Sanders absense. He is an intense competitor.

Other guys and moments that caught my eye include Willie Colon air-mailing Aaron Smith on a run block. Chris Hoke playing into the Bronko Legursky’s attempted hook block and beating him upfield to drop the back for a loss. Lawrence Timmons vaporizing RB Barron Batch on a blitz in red-zone offense.

Things are starting to heat up in training camp.

http://burgh.us/6nl

fordfixer
08-10-2011, 01:33 AM
Brown taking advantage of opportunity

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 37403f5671 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Brown-taking-advantage-of-opportunity/adcff80b-a273-43d3-8b9c-4037403f5671)

Posted Aug 8, 2011

Second-year receiver Antonio Brown got more reps in the first week of training camp than he expected with Hines Ward on the PUP list to open camp and Emmanuel Sanders sidelined with a foot injury.

And he made sure to make all of those reps count, even with Ward back on the field as of Monday.

“This has been a golden opportunity for me and I have to take advantage of it,” said Brown. “Getting an opportunity with Ben (Roethlisberger) and getting his confidence in me up is a key.”

Brown said that he is comfortable where his game is as far as the physical standpoint, but he knows he has to work on other aspects.

“I want to get sharp mentally,” said Brown. “Understanding the concepts and roles of the offense and what we are trying to do is a key. The more you understand the easier it is for you to go out and play.

“I am getting better and learning my assignments. I need to continue to work and improve. I want to gain the trust of my teammates, coaches and first my quarterback.”

* * *

Ward’s return to practice on Monday was something that meant a lot to his teammates.

“It was cool to see him,” said running back Rashard Mendenhall. “It’s good to have him back. It feels normal.”

Ward worked with the receivers while he wasn’t practicing, but there is nothing like watching a veteran on the field to really learn from him.

“He is a vet, a smart guy,” said Brown. “You can learn the little things from him. He is a great guy to play with.”

Another player who was back on the field Monday was center Maurkice Pouncey, who previously missed practice with an ankle injury.

“He is incredible,” said Mendenhall of the young center. “He is a very smart player, athletic. He is not going to back down from anything. You can see it on film and every day in practice.”

* * *

For the first few days he was at training camp Willie Colon would make the trek from the locker room, down the hill to the practice field without his helmet, jersey or pads as one of the free agents not able to practice until the CBA was ratified.

Last Thursday, though, he had all three in tow but left something else behind.

“I told myself I was going to leave all of my doubts and insecurities at the top of the hill,” said Colon. “And I did.”

Those insecurities stemmed from Thursday being the first time Colon took the field since the end of Steelers OTAs in 2010 when he injured his Achilles.

“That is what I was waiting for,” said Colon. “I was out a whole year. I waited all year for this. There were a lot of dark nights a lot of hard days in the weight room.

“You get anxiety. You get nervous. For me it’s about going through the grind, getting the rust off. Once you hear that clanking of helmets and pads, it’s like live bullets. It felt good to push off and hit somebody other than a sled.”

Colon went through the normal struggles last year of dealing with being on injured reserve. But instead of letting it eat away at him, he took a different approach, getting involved with the doing the scouting report each week for the offensive line.

“Kugs (Sean Kugler) asked me to do it,” said Colon. “I did it every week and enjoyed it up to week six and then wanted to be on the field. That was him helping me stay involved.

“It now gives me more heightened awareness getting ready for games. I know what it takes to be a key factor for all of the guys. It was a chance for me to get more involved in the playbook and be there for the guys. Be a vocal leader at times. I was able to do that.”

* * *

The Steelers helped the Westmoreland County Food Bank collect 483 pounds of food and $295 at the food drive they hosted at their night practice on Aug. 5. Many needy families will benefit from the generosity of Steelers fans. Giant Eagle also matched the food donation, making it 966 pounds of food donated.

* * *

Quotable: Mendenhall on the young running backs in camp- “They are picking things up pretty well especially with the limited offseason time. To come in here and pick things up fast is good. As the preseason games come up we will see what they do in live action.”

hawaiiansteel
08-16-2011, 07:21 PM
Last day of camp

TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2011
posted by Dale Lolley


Mike Tomlin held his final press conference of training camp 2011 and was much more interesting today than he was at his PC last week:

© Tomlin said Troy Polamalu and James Harrison will play Thursday against Philadelphia after sitting against Washington.

© The starters are expected to see 20 to 25 snaps.

© Tony Hills will get the start at RG, though at practice Wednesday, Doug Legursky lined up with first team at RG, while Chris Kemoeatu was at LG.

© Emmanuel Sanders, Cortez Allen, Crezdon Butler, Bryant McFadden, Ike Taylor, Chris Kemoeatu and Mario Harvey are out as of now. That list could be added to later.

© Tomlin did not discount having his kickers boot the ball shorter to allow for returns to get a look at his special teams coverage units.

© Tomlin also said he wants to get an extended look at Jonathan Dwyer in this game.

I talked to Dwyer at lunch. Said he's lost 15 pounds since he's been in camp.

© The Steelers were on the turf here at Saint Vincent College and Aaron Smith did not practice again. Tomlin said he has given some of the older guys days off when they are on the turf here to save their knees.

The Steelers wrapped up camp having had just five practices on grass because of heavy rains throughout camp.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/