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Prosdo 08-01-2005 06:02 PM

Steelers ace run-test
Steelers ace run-test
Monday, August 1, 2005

LATROBE, Pa. ? Coach Bill Cowher has said this will be a demanding and challenging training camp, and he looks to be keeping his promise.

Cowher?s camps always open with what he refers to as the run-test, a series of 14 40-yard dashes done under a pre-set time with 30-second breaks between each repetition. The starting time for 2005?s run-test was 2 p.m., which is hardly the coolest portion of the day.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature was 88-degrees with a heat index of 90. It?s tiring just watching somebody else run in temperatures like that.

"Considering the heat and the weather, I was really pleased with everybody," said Cowher. "We held some guys out. Charlie Batch was held out because of his knee, and we?ve held out Jeff Hartings the past couple of years. And the running backs, given their circumstances with Jerome (Bettis) and Duce (Staley) and Verron (Haynes), we held them out of this as a medical decision. Everybody who participated did a great job."

Still, there were some guys who stood out for a variety of reasons. Willie Williams led his group though this run-test as a 34-year-old. Kendall Simmons smoked his competition while wearing a wrap on his surgically-repaired knee. And even though Casey Hampton wore nothing on his knee, he looked svelte by NFL nose tackle standards and completed an exercise that wasn?t designed with guys his size in mind.

"You look at the two guys coming back (from knee injuries) ? Kendall and Casey ? they were very, very impressive," said Cowher. "This was as light as Casey?s been since his rookie year, and you saw how Kendall finished that last sprint. That?s one focused player right now. That?s good to see, because that?s two big players we didn?t have last year, and they?re integral parts of our offensive and defensive lines."

But as the last group finished, the tone of training camp shifts to all football all the time. Everyone, players and coaches alike, sound like they?re looking forward to it.

"I?m excited to be out here," said Ben Roethlisberger. "I wasn?t really looking too forward to it until you saw other teams start reporting and you get that itch. Coming out here, being on the grass and seeing the guys and being around them really got the juices flowing, and it?s hard to believe year two is here already."

"We?re starting over, and it?s about coming up here and building that camaraderie, building that sense of team, and you can?t do it talking about it in an air conditioned room, you can?t do it running around in shorts," said Cowher. "This is where the foundation is laid. We?re going to be pushing each other, competing with each other and living with each other for the next three weeks. It?s going to get heated, it?s going to get testy. We need to be able to push each other.

"It can get testy out here, and I want it to be that. But they have to leave it on the field, and we come out onto this field there has to be a sense of purpose. There?s a very short period of time before we open up against Tennessee. And I will continue to remind him of that."


Following the run-test, Cowher addressed the situation of Hines Ward?s holdout.

"First of all, Hines Ward, I love him as a player, a great kid," said Cowher. "He?s very much respected on this football team, not only by the players but by the entire organization. It?s unfortunate that it has come to this. We?re hopeful that he?ll get here sometime in the near future, but we are going to move on with or without him. Hopefully this thing will rectify itself, but we?re going to proceed with the players who are here. I?m not going to answer questions about it on a day-to-day basis."

Cowher said that whether Ward will be fined for missing days of training camp will remain an in-house matter.

"This is an unfortunate circumstance, but we have to be prepared to move on," said Cowher, "and we will."

Cowher said Cedrick Wilson and Antwaan Randle El open camp as the starting wide receivers.


St. Vincent College?s campus opens at 2 p.m. on Tuesday with the Steelers Experience, the team?s interactive theme park, which runs until 6 p.m. on the baseball field adjacent to the football practice fields. Additionally, fans can tour the Steelers? Traveling Coca-Cola Great Hall, a mini version of the Coca-Cola Great Hall at Heinz Field.

The first practice open to fans will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday.


Nice to hear the run test went well and some of the players are looking good.

BlitzburghRockCity 08-01-2005 06:09 PM

Re: Steelers ace run-test

Still, there were some guys who stood out for a variety of reasons. Willie Williams led his group though this run-test as a 34-year-old. Kendall Simmons smoked his competition while wearing a wrap on his surgically-repaired knee. And even though Casey Hampton wore nothing on his knee, he looked svelte by NFL nose tackle standards and completed an exercise that wasn?t designed with guys his size in mind.
that is AWESOME news !!! especially simmons !

Atleast there's not Jamain Stephens episodes this year. :rolleyes:

BB2W 08-02-2005 02:51 PM

Re: Steelers ace run-test

In Cowher's run test, he and his assistants break down the roster basically by position. Running in groups of six or seven, players line up near the goal line at one of the practice fields at St. Vincent College. On the whistle of one of the trainers, the players sprint 40 yards and then jog back to the starting line. On the 14th sprint, they run full speed both ways.

Players who won their heats on the 14th and last sprints included cornerback Chidi Iwuoma, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, strong safety Troy Polamalu, cornerback Willie Williams, linebacker Clark Haggans, running back Willie Parker, tight end Marco Battaglia, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defensive end Brett Keisel, defensive end Elliott Harris, center Ben Claxton and Simmons.

While several Steelers looked impressive while running their sprints, none looked more impressive than Simmons and, to a degree, nose tackle Casey Hampton, who's also coming off season-ending knee surgery.

"I feel like I had something to prove," said Simmons, who looked like a raging bull as he ran his sprints. "And I was so happy to see Big Ham (Hampton) run so well. I didn't even think he was going to run today. But I'm glad he did. That just shows you the kind of heart he has."

This is as light as Casey's been since his rookie year. And you saw how Kendall finished his last (sprint). That's one focused player right now." Cowher said.

One of the Steelers who finished last was Porter, although he ran his first 13 sprints with relative ease despite the fact Cowher jawed at him for taking off before the starting whistle on a few sprints.

"Stay onsides, 55!" Cowher yelled at Porter, who wears jersey No. 55.

"Man, you talk to me too much!" Porter yelled back.
I don't like hearing Porter finished last, and I don't like hearing he yelled at coach. He is a thug ....his play, and maybe his effort have benn slipping in recent years. I also don't like hearing Willie Williams won his heat. Where was all "speed" from the young guys. For those of us that want to see a youth movement at cornerback....this could be bad if Cowher likes first impressions. Old man Williams is fighting for his starting job! :boxing:

I think we all knew Troy would win his heat. :) I don't think he gets tired like humans do. I bet he could have ran for another couple hours or so. :D

BlitzburghRockCity 08-02-2005 09:07 PM

Re: Steelers ace run-test
Dont put too much into the run test. Its just a test to see who stayed in shape during the offseason. Porter and Cowher jaw all the time,nothing new. Its just joey being joey.

We have plenty of speed in the secondary, but everybody hates the run test. All they wanna do is finish it and get it over with.

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