View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: Big Ben practices; Dixon out this week

08-26-2009, 03:58 AM
Steelers Notebook: Big Ben practices; Dixon out this week
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

One quarterback returned to practice and one did not, although the Steelers appear neither distressed nor even the least bit worried about the injuries to both.

Ben Roethlisberger participated in a limited fashion in practice yesterday for the first time since injuring his right foot at the end of practice Thursday and missing the Steelers' 17-13 exhibition loss at Washington. He was joined on the South Side fields by backup Charlie Batch and free agent Mike Reilly. No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon missed practice after sustaining a separated right (throwing) shoulder against the Redskins. Sources said Dixon's injury is not believed to be serious, so the Steelers do not plan to sign another quarterback for camp.

The Steelers expect Roethlisberger to start Saturday against Buffalo in the third preseason game and, like the rest of the starters, play "a significant amount of time. What that is at this point is to be determined," coach Mike Tomlin said.

"Ben participated in a limited capacity," Tomlin said of the starting quarterback, who stood and watched the final 10 minutes of practice while icing down the ailing foot. "We like where he is. We'll continue to move forward. ... He won't be limited in any form or fashion" for Saturday.

Of Dixon, the coach said: "You can characterize him as 'out' this week. That's all I'm willing to characterize him at this point. I'm going to be optimistic."

Also on the injury front, Tomlin reported that tight end Sean McHugh is scheduled for what he termed "clean-up surgery" this morning, with more details about McHugh's status determined from that arthroscopic procedure.

Offensive tackle Jason Capizzi also was limited yesterday due to a shoulder injury. Missing were receiver Santonio Holmes (back), whom Tomlin expected "back soon," along with running back Willie Parker (hamstring); fullback Tank Summers (hamstring); offensive guard Darnell Stapleton (knee) and receiver Hines Ward, who got the day off as with any "simulated in-season Wednesday," Tomlin kidded.

Critical Max
What a week Max Starks just had.

First, toward the end of the final practice Thursday at Saint Vincent College, the Steelers' starting offensive left tackle stepped on what he initially thought was a running back's toes -- only to find out it was the planting right foot belonging to the club's $102 million quarterback, Roethlisberger.

Then, the first play Saturday night at Washington, he was called for holding.

The latter was acceptable, all part of being an offensive lineman, he said.

The former?

"Just a play," Starks said, not one bit sheepish about the subject but rather the end result of a pass-rushing confrontation between him and linebacker James Harrison. "Two guys going really hard, one guy didn't see the other one.

"Ben kind of stepped up and around and kind of got nicked. Actually, I didn't know where he was. I turned to look, and he already was by me ... I looked back, 'Who did I step on?' When I saw Charlie coming in, that's when I realized ..."

Roethlisberger and Starks -- whose lockers are next to each other in the South Side facility --have talked about the play, the one that kept Roethlisberger out of the exhibition Saturday.

"I kind of clipped [him] with my heel," Starks continued. "That's what happens. It's football. Obviously, it isn't ballet. I'm glad it wasn't anything serious. He knew I was upset about it. But he'll be fine."

As for the 10-yard holding penalty called on Starks on an incomplete screen pass from Batch to Parker on the offense's opening play two nights later, Starks ascribed that to another mundane football moment.

"Oh, I wasn't actually thinking about it," Starks said. "It's a screen pass. You're supposed to break from the defense ... It's one of those things you're competing. It wasn't like jumping offsides ... or fighting after a play. It's a holding call. You're an offensive lineman, that comes with the territory."

Quick hits
Halfback Mewelde Moore (hamstring) returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 4. "It feels good to be out there doing what I love to do," Moore said. Could he be ready for Saturday? "Hey, man, one day at a time


08-26-2009, 01:27 PM
Max is a big boy......He is the last one I would want to step on my toe at practice.......Maybe next to Big Snack........