August 04, 2010 09:08 AM
By: MIKE CIAROCHI
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LATROBE - Every new employee wants to hit the ground running, but Steelers fullback Dwayne Wright took that catch phrase to new heights Tuesday at St. Vincent College.
Wright arrived at Steelers camp about 8 a.m. and passed a physical before participating in Tuesday morning's special teams practice and the afternoon's regular workout.
He felt right at home, despite a red-eye flight from San Diego to Newark to Pittsburgh.
"This offense is perfect for me," the enthusiastic Wright told a gaggle of reporters after practice. "This north and south running is what I do."
Despite a good number of carries in his first practice with the team, Wright was reminded that he was signed to play fullback here.
"I'm a tailback, but I can play fullback, too," he said. "My whole life, I've been a competitor. I just got off the plane from San Diego and I feel right at home."
Wright also vowed to be a good, willing special teams player, which likely will go a long way toward earning him a spot on the roster.
"I have speed, I can catch, I can block, I do whatever," he said. "I play all of the special teams. I'm stepping into an offense I've been running my whole life."
Wright said he wasn't really a good fit with the Eagles, who cut him a day earlier. "They moved me to fullback and you've all heard of Leonard Weaver (one of the league's best fullbacks), plus they are pretty loaded at running back, so there really wasn't a spot there for me to earn."
He got a good workout in his first practice with the Steelers and seemed to run well and + "I don't know the plays at all," he said.
As bubbly as Wright was to be here, that's how cautious coach Mike Tomlin was in assessing his newest player.
"I don't know enough about him at this juncture," Tomlin said when asked about Wright.
This much, he knows. The new guy truly did hit the ground running.
Tomlin was pleased with what he termed a "legitimate training camp practice," Tuesday afternoon.
"There was an ebb and flow," Tomlin said.
"There were successes and failures on the field. Usually, it takes a few days to hold your pads right, but today it seemed to come together in that regard. There was an ebb and flow and an intensity that I liked."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will visit Steelers camp on Thursday, when he is expected to meet with the whole team, but with Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in particular.
"I intend on visiting with him," Tomlin said. "But I'll worry about Thursday sometime late Wednesday night. I'm busy worrying about tonight and tomorrow right now."
RB Rashard Mendenhall, OL Maurkice Pouncey, NT Casey Hampton and guard Ramon Foster returned to practice Tuesday. Still missing work were RB Jonathan Dwyer, LB Jason Worilds, OT Jonathan Scott and LB Andre Frazier.
Joining them on the sidelines was DE Nick Eason who suffered dehydration.