Training Camp Preview
Sporting News NFL Training Camp Edition
Top Priority: Gone are RG Keydrick Vincent and RT Oliver Ross, but RD Kendall Simmons and RT Max Starks are capable replacements. Simmons was a starter before injuries plagued him each of the past two seasons, and Starks is bigger and more athletic than Ross and impressed coaches as a rookie with his run blocking. Still, Simmons and Starks will have to develop timing with each otherand their linemates. The effectiveness if the line was a big reason why the running game thrived in 2004.
Rookie To Watch: TE Heath Miller should contribute immediately as a pass-catching threat over the middle, but he needs to learn to seal defensive ends to become an effective run blocker. If Miller can hold up as a blocker, he will supplant Jerame Tuman, though both will play a lot because the team likes using two-tight end sets.
Camp Confidential: QB Ben Roethlisberger's preseason priorities include mastering an expanded playbook and improving against zone defenses. It's unlikely he will face intricate zones during the preseason games, so the coaches will need to devise ways to get him more acclimated in practice. ... Rookie CB Bryant McFadden was impressive in offseason practices abd projects to be a nickel or dime back. And if his strong play continues in camp and throughout the preseason, he could end up starting. McFadden is physical and plays the run well. ... Look out for RB Duce Staley to be used sparingly in the preseason. He missed six games last season because of a hamstring injury, but comes to camp as the No. 1 back. - Gerry Dulac
Pure Camp with CB Deshea Townsend
Player most likely to fall asleep in a meeting: I've been known to a few times, but I'm going to take (OLB) Joey Porter. Every meeting.
Biggest Prankster: (RB) Jerome Bettis. He's always up to something, and he has a lot of free time on his hands.
Worst roommate experience: Me and (WR) Hines (Ward) have been roommates since I've been here. I guess it's when he and I are having a conversation and he just goes to sleep.
Most unique way to spend downtime: We either play video games or we have those remote control cars. That's pretty fun.
Most unique way to cope with the heat: Somebody told me a Chinese ritual was to spray cold water on your wrist. I don't think that stuff works.
Article from page 44 of Sporting News 7/22/05