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Old 08-03-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
A Son of Martha

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Default Re: Big Ben off to slow start in camp

Big Ben shaking off the rust
Posted August 3, 2009 8 :11 PM

Here are news and notes from the Steelers fourth day of training camp:

Another day, another interception for Ben Roethlisberger.

Not to get Steelers fans worked into a lather as Big Ben certainly isn't worried that he has been a little lackluster thus far.

"My arm's not where I want it to be yet," Roethlisberger said. "Trying to make the throws I make later in the year (and) my arms's not ready for it."

That is to be expected as Roethlisberger rarely throws in the offseason so he doesn't get a tired arm in December and January.

"I don't throw a lot before (camp) for that reason," Roethlisberger said, "so it takes a couple of days to get into it. I hope, by Wednesday, it will be getting better and then by the weekend it will be in pretty good form."

Darnell Stapleton didn't practice again this afternoon and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the right guard is having his knee checked. Stapleton, who has swelling in his knee, watched the morning practice from a chair near the hill that overlooks the fields at St. Vincent. He was not present at the afternoon practice.

If Stapleton has a knee problem that is worse than the Steelers thought that could provide the opening Trai Essex is looking for at guard. The fifth-year veteran arrived at camp with the belief that he would get a legitimate chance to compete for a starting job.

Tempers flared during the afternoon practice and specifically when defensive tackle Scott Paxson and rookie guard Ramon Foster locked up during a pass rush/pass block drill. The two engaged in a shoving match after the whistle blew and might have come to blows had coaches not quickly intervened.

"We have to develop our professional etiquette and professionalism just like we need to do our techniques and assignments," Tomlin said after practice. "But all in all I like the spirit of the group."

The rookies are getting a rough indoctrination to the NFL. A day after Frank "The Tank" Summers got walloped on a running play, veteran safety Tyrone Carter belted wide receiver Mike Wallace. Wallace did hang onto the ball.

As for "The Tank" he said that was the first time he had ever fumbled because of a hard hit.

"You've just got to protect yourself at all times and that's part of being on this level," he said.

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Timmons back practicing

Posted August 3, 2009 1 :27 PM

Lawrence Timmons returned to practice this morning and didn't appear to be slowed by the cramps that plagued him the previous two days. Timmons, who will start at inside linebacker this season, didn't finish the Steelers' afternoon practice Friday because of cramps that were related to dehydration.

Coach Mike Tomlin is taking care of his veterans early in camp as a number of them, including wide receiver Hines Ward and inside linebacker James Farrior, were given this morning's practice off.

The oddest sight of the morning was starting right guard Darnell Stapleton watching practice from a chair near the hill that overlooks the fields at St. Vincent College. Stapleton looked like a student that has been banished to corner by the teacher for acting out in class. Was Stapleton told to take a, uh, time-out? "No," he said smiling, "I'm a good boy."

The Steelers as, it turned out, wanted Stapleton to stay off his feet as he has been dealing with swelling in one his knees.
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