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mesaSteeler 08-10-2009 08:32 AM

Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp...
Defense wins goal-line drill
Posted August 9, 2009 8 :14 PM

News and notes from the 10th day of training camp...

The Steelers' goal-line drill did not disappoint Sunday as the first-team defense stuffed the first-team offense three consecutive times from the 1-yard line before leaving the field. The offense got stopped on its fourth attempt from the 1 before scoring on its last three tries.

The defense won the best of seven sequence, four to three, but it wasn't that close.

"We take a lot of pride in this as a group and we never want the offense to win," inside linebacker James Farrior said. "I think we've been doing pretty well."

The first-team defense stopped Rashard Mendenhall twice and Frank "The Tank" Summers once. Summers got stopped again before scoring.

Rookie Isaac Redman, an undrafted free agent, scored both times he carried the ball.

The drill matched power versus power as the offense had five linemen, three tight ends, a fullback, a running back and a quarterback while the defense countered with its goal-line package.

The offense could take some consolation from the fact that the Steelers had the No. 1 defense in the NFL last season. Also, the drill probably favors the defense a little bit as the defensive players have to know that there is no way Tomlin is going to allow a pass to be called on any of the plays.

"I'm not going to make any judgments based on what I looked at," Tomlin said. "Somebody's going to win and somebody's going to lose when we pit ourselves against one another. Competition is the truest motivator and I like to put these guys in situations where they compete."

Nose tackle Casey Hampton and wide receiver Limas Sweed didn't finish practice Sunday. Hampton "tweaked" his knee, Tomlin said, while Sweed experienced tightness in his hamstring.

Tomlin said both are "day-to-day" as far as practice.

The Steelers held Willie Parker out of practice for the second consecutive day because of back spasms. Also not practicing were running back Mewelde Moore (hamstring), wide receiver Martin Nance (hamstring) and defensive tackle Scott Paxson (calf). Darnell Stapleton watched practice from the hill that overlooks the main football field at St. Vincent with his right knee packed in ice.

Stapleton is out for at least a couple of weeks with a knee injury.

LaMarr Woodley, who had been sidelined with swelling in his knee, returned to practice Sunday and stood out in the goal-line drill.

He stuffed Mendenhall on the first play from the 1-yard line, and on the third play he was among the host of tacklers that stonewalled Summers.

"Knee is good," Woodley said.

The players were given their first practice off at training camp as Tomlin cancelled the drills that had been scheduled for Monday morning. While he has had the players on the field a lot, Tomlin has been mindful to rest various veterans.

"He's been taking very good care of us," fullback Carey Davis said. "He's been doing a great job of looking out for us."

mmalone 08-10-2009 10:37 AM

Redman and Summers Score - Defense Wins
Redman hits pay dirt

No one had a better goal-line drill than Isaac Redman, a little-known back from little-known Bowie State in Maryland. Redman, an undrafted rookie, scored twice on his only two carries. He was running with the second team and against the second-team defense, but he looked good doing it.

It also got him off to a flying start after a solid first week in his first pro training camp.

"I feel pretty good about it ... but I can't let it go to my head, I still have to work hard," said Redman. "As long as I come out here and work hard and stay injury free, hopefully I have a good shot at making this team."

Few might have thought that back in April when no one drafted Redman after he ran just 108 times for 538 yards at Bowie State. The Steelers, in fact, were the only ones interested in signing him, he said.

"I was kind of under the radar, nobody knew too much about me."

He has good size at 6 feet, 230 pounds and has a rugged style. He seemed to know what to do at the goal line yesterday.

"Find the hole and go," he explained. "Can't do too much dancing around. You just have to see that crease, especially in the NFL, it closes up real fast. You just go to see the crease and go. If guys get under you, you ain't got a chance."

The Steelers have been looking for a short-yardage back since Jerome Bettis retired after the 2005 season. They drafted Frank "The Tank" Summers on the fifth round as a candidate. Summers failed to score on his first two carries off the right side yesterday but went wide the next time and made it in. Rashard Mendenhall, running with the first team because Willie Parker missed practice again, was stopped for no gain on his first carry and lost 2 on his second.

Read more:

BlastFurnace 08-10-2009 10:57 AM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
It seems that every camp that an UFA comes in and does some special things. This year, it seems that OT Foster has a very legimate shot at making the roster. Who knows, maybe Redman will do the same, but at who's expense?

Fire Haley 08-10-2009 11:56 AM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
Steelers practice notes

August 9, 2009 6:00 PM

Posted by's James Walker

LATROBE, Pa. -- As the AFC North blog puts the final touches on its visit to the training camp of the Pittsburgh Steelers, here are some final notes and observations:

* Let's get right to the "goal-line drill," which was the highlight of Sunday's practice. The football was put on the 1-yard line and in a best-of-seven scenario, the defense won the drill 4-3. But it wasn't nearly as close as the score would indicate. The first- and second-team defenses dominated the opening sessions as Steelers tailbacks Rashard Mendenhall and Frank "The Tank" Summers were stuffed at the line of scrimmage on four consecutive attempts. With the drill already won, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin elected to continue the final three reps, and Summers and rookie free-agent Isaac Redman scored on their final three tries. Despite the victory, starting safety Ryan Clark was upset with the way his backups on defense finished the drill. "I don't like that at all," Clark said to his defensive teammates.

* Two key players returned to practice Sunday. Starting outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (knee) and rookie receiver Mike Wallace (groin) had full participation. Running back Willie Parker (back spasms) was held out for the second straight day but is expected to return soon, possibly as early as Monday.

* Receiver Dallas Baker is starting to turn it on after stringing together a few solid days of practice. Baker had a solid scrimmage Friday and returned with some nice catches throughout the weekend. Baker has always been a bubble player in Pittsburgh, and it will be interesting to see if makes the 53-man roster out of training camp this year.

* If I had to pick four players that stood out most during my visit, I would say James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, Wallace and Daniel Sepulveda.

* If I had to pick four players that struggled during my visit, I would say Summers, Dennis Dixon, Kraig Urbik and David Johnson.

* Pittsburgh is putting a lot of work into pass protection from the running backs as a way to improve overall blocking for the quarterback. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 46 times last year and the Steelers are trying to improve all aspects of their protection in hopes that they can lower that sack total.

* Overall the Steelers looked focused. I didn't hear the words "Super Bowl champs" the entire time I was in Latrobe from anybody in the organization, which is a good sign that this team learned from the 2006 season.

Health permitting, this visit further confirmed my thoughts that Pittsburgh placed itself in a great position to make another run at the title.

Dizzle43 08-10-2009 12:13 PM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
We really need to get a lot better at short yardage running. It's not just the back either. The offensive line needs to get a lot better. Doing these kinds of drills now will go a long way to our effectiveness during the regular season.

ANDYMISIU 08-10-2009 12:25 PM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
Yes, I don't know who's to blame for that performance in practice. O'line, or the Backs. I would have liked them to have tried a passing play, to keep the defense honest. It's good that our first string was stout on the goal line, that's a plus.

Dino 6 Rings 08-10-2009 12:35 PM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
If you are losing 2 yards at the 1, that's a penetration issue, not a running back issue.

Our Oline needs to Man the Fck Up and drive the Dline Back.

Fire Haley 08-10-2009 12:39 PM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
Peter King - Monday Moning QB

I think if you'd been with me Sunday in Latrobe, you'd have seen why the Steelers are so good, and why the R word -- repeat -- is on the mind of a few of their fans.

With third-team units on the field at the end of team drills, Dennis Dixon led the offense downfield until the ball lay at the two-yard line. James Harrison, who was sitting in the end zone, stood up to encourage the defense, and James Farrior ran from the sidelines to the end zone to do the same.

"Get us off the field, D!!!'' Harrison yelled. "We be foaming at the mouth today!!!'' And when the offense scored on an end sweep, the defenders were angry. I mean, angry. "I feel violated,'' said Ike Taylor. As Santonio Holmes said later, it's why they're good. One of the reasons, anyway.

mmalone 08-10-2009 01:02 PM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp
Dennis needs to get it done... Realize we have a great talent here...

2007 USC vs Oregon notes.

The deft decision making that has helped turn Oregon’s starting quarterback into an emerging Heisman Trophy candidate.

On the football field this fall, Dixon has been treating opposing defenses in the same manner as sunflower seeds — chewing them up and spitting them out. In leading the Ducks to fifth in the Bowl Championship Series standings, Dixon has established himself as the nation’s most dynamic, dangerous QB.

In past seasons, the athleticism and talent were evident in the 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior. But it was not until this season that Dixon has been able to fully unleash his talent, thanks to his own maturity and the tutelage of a new offensive coordinator.

It all adds up to 154 completions in 224 attempts (68.8 percent) for 1,885 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions and 492 yards and eight TDs rushing for Oregon, which is 7-1 heading into a Saturday showdown against Arizona State, No. 4 in the BCS standings.

“I don’t think anybody has defended him,” ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. “We have to try to control him, but he is hard to control because of his ability to run. If you look throughout the country for a guy that should be considered for the Heisman Trophy, it would be him.”

then he got hurt... and now we have him...
so let him play football....
get him on the field.

The_WARDen 08-10-2009 01:11 PM

Re: Defense wins goal-line drill + News and notes from the 10th day of training camp

Originally Posted by Dino 6 Rings (Post 636323)
If you are losing 2 yards at the 1, that's a penetration issue, not a running back issue.

Our Oline needs to Man the Fck Up and drive the Dline Back.

You assume that they're capable...I have my doubts.

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