Inside the Ropes: Tight end Peelle grasps fundamentals

By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2012


• Tight end Justin Peelle, a 10-year veteran signed to replace the injured David Johnson, got off to a quick start. The 6-foot-4, 251-pound journeyman appeared to grasp the offense’s fundamentals, but he had trouble moving the blocking sled. “I need to knock off the rust and prove I can still play,” he said.

• Rookie running back Chris Rainey and rookie wide receiver Marquis Maze showed off their playmaking abilities by each making two acrobatic, one-hand catches

• Offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn’t seem concerned, but his quarterbacks spent plenty of time tap dancing in the pocket while looking for open receivers. Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich held onto the ball, waiting to find a target. Jerrod Johnson was decisive and delivered a perfectly thrown low, outside ball to Tyler Beiler.

• It was a rough day for guard Kelvin Beachum. The 6-3, 306-pounder absorbed a couple of verbal jabs from coach Mike Tomlin, who screamed, “Get Beachum ... out of there,” after the rookie blew an assignment.

• Rookie tight end David Paulson grabbed attention when he snatched a pass from the hands of linebacker Lawrence Timmons and cornerback Cortez Allen. In a crowded field of tight end candidates, the seventh-round draft pick has impressed coaches with his pass-catching and run-blocking skills.

• Running back Isaac Redman came up limping after he couldn’t pull in an errant pass. He continued to practice but avoided contact.

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