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Old 08-22-2006, 05:12 AM   #1
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Default Okobi looking to practice by Aug. 28

Notebook: Okobi looking to practice by Aug. 28
By The Tribune-Review
Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Backup center Chukky Okobi hopes to resume contact practicing on Aug. 28, the Monday following Friday's preseason game in Philadelphia. Okobi underwent neck surgery on Aug. 9.
"I saw the doctor at halftime during the game," on Saturday night against Minnesota, Okobi said. "And he realized that my skeleton was laced with adamantium and my healing powers are what they are, so he said I could probably come back next week."

OK, Wolverine, what more can you tell us about adamantium?

"It's indestructible," Okobi said. "It's the toughest metal on earth."

As for Okobi, "I'm a phenom," he said. "They're writing an article on me in the American Journal of Medicine."

? Tight end Jerame Tuman (hamstring), wide receiver Isaac West (knee), defensive end Shaun Nua (ankle) and Okobi didn't practice yesterday. Wide receiver Sean Morey (thumb) returned to practice. Wide receiver Hines Ward (hamstring) returned but shut it down prior to completion of the workout.

? Yesterday afternoon's practice concluded at about 4:45 p.m., 15 minutes before a session normally ends.

"It's a short week this week," coach Bill Cowher said. "As I told the guys, we gotta continue to make progress and we gotta take faster steps. I thought in the game the other day (against Minnesota) we did some things well but not consistently."

? Backup quarterback Charlie Batch enjoyed watching Ben Roethlisberger run the no-huddle on the Steelers' opening possession on Saturday and said Roethlisberger made all the calls at the line of scrimmage after the initial end-around to Nate Washington.

"It's his own call," Batch said. "We got the point one time where Cowher was trying to call another play and (Ben) was waving him off, like, 'Hold on, I got this; I got this.' That was good to see. I think it was something where, from coach's standpoint, he allowed Ben to do his thing." Batch also ran the no-huddle, but in a more conventional situation -- the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. "We want to try to incorporate that into the offense," he said, "but we have to prove it out here (on the field.)."

? Ward hasn't completed a full practice since hurting his hamstring on Aug. 4, but his absence has accelerated the learning curve for others at the wide receiver position.

"As much as you don't want to have Hines (not) in there, the one thing it's doing is kind of expediting the process for some of the young kids," Cowher said. "I think in the long run it'll be good."



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Digits

3 - Combined interceptions and sacks in two preseason games for rookie free safety Anthony Smith after his sack against Minnesota.

5 - Tackles for linebacker Joey Porter in his preseason debut against Minnesota.

6 - Team-leading tackles for Smith and linebacker Richard Seigler against Minnesota.

38 - Receiving yards, on two catches, for rookie free agent tight end Jon Dekker against Minnesota.
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