Cornerback Lewis becoming special teams fixture
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
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Last December, Mike Tomlin said cornerback Keenan Lewis, a third-round draft pick from Oregon State, still wasn't ready to play "because he hadn't had a helmet from a special-teams standpoint. If he's able to get a helmet due to a special-teams matchup opportunity, then of course I'll put him in the mix."
Lewis didn't play enough in his four games as a rookie to record a tackle. Entering his second training camp, he's the backup left cornerback and also becoming a fixture on special teams.
"He's comfortable. He knows what he's doing," Tomlin said. "You can tell that in terms of how he's verbalizing assignments, communicating with others pre-snap. But more importantly, he's finishing plays and being very competitive. I'm looking forward to watching him and others when we step into the stadium versus Detroit (Saturday night at Heinz Field)."
Lewis was tested twice during Tuesday afternoon's two-minute drill. Dennis Dixon completed a fourth-down pass to Arnaz Battle against Lewis to keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, Lewis broke up a Dixon pass intended for Battle.
» On the final play of the two-minute drill, Dixon attemped a pass to Tyler Grisham that was broken up in the end zone and resulted in defensive back Joe Burnett suffering a rib injury. It appeared that Dixon could have run for the touchdown.
"He thought there was a strong possibility that he could (run it in)," Tomlin said. "We'll look at it on video. Of course, when you're in that situation and it is the last play of the game, you better be sure you can get in the end zone."
» The temperature on the heat index reached 102 degrees on the field yesterday afternoon, which was to Tomlin's liking although probably not to his players' satisfaction.
"We've got some 1 o'clock kickoffs in September that are going to be challenging in Nashville and Tampa, Fla.," said Tomlin, referring to the second and third games of the season against the Titans and Buccaneers. "We need days like this to help with our preparation."
» Tight end Eugene Bright was moved to defensive end. Bright, who played defensive end in college, didn't embarrass himself in blocking drills. After being handled by tackle Flozell Adams, Bright beat guard Ramon Foster. On his second try against Foster, Bright forced Foster to hold him.