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Old 08-04-2006, 10:39 PM   #1
Lukin83
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Default 8/4 Steelers Practice Report

8/4 Steelers Practice Report
Luke Nicholson
8/4/2006




The afternoon was the first cool day of practice since camp opened, with temperatures in the low 80s. The offense began practice alone, but Dick LeBeau?s unit joined them shortly. The crowd was the largest one since the first open practice on July 30 and the spectators let the men of steel know that they were appreciated, clapping and cheering for every impressive play witnessed. You can view my pictures from the day HERE.

Quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger had an off day, missing on a large quantity of passes. He overthrew a screen to Hines Ward, as well as an out to Santonio Holmes, and an interception to James Harrison. He did show mobility in the one-minute drill, which is covered below. Charlie Batch, unlike Roethlisberger, had an excellent day of practice. He was confident in the pocket, striking his receivers in stride with perfect passes. He showed his mobility on multiple occasions and displayed his ability to throw on the run. Both Omar Jacobs and Shane Boyd tossed interceptions, although both were displaying their strong arms throughout their afternoon performance.

Runningbacks

Willie Parker showed great consistency as an inside runner and was the best back on the field today. Duce Staley seemed to have trouble finding running room up the middle, while both Verron Haynes and Cedric Humes had an easier time hitting the holes. Cedric Humes particularly caught my eye today, as he was utilized often as a receiver, as well as a runner in drills. John Kuhn worked exclusively at fullback, while Branden Joe worked exclusively at halfback. Both are listed as fullbacks on the roster.

Wide Receivers

Willie Reid stole the show today. He was easily the best receiver on the field. All four quarterbacks were hitting him with passes and he was going all out. He did drop one pass, but it was a diving effort along the sideline and would have been a beautiful grab. Hines Ward dropped an off target screen pass and almost assisted in it being intercepted. Santonio Holmes also had a strong practice, catching numerous balls, but Reid outshined him. Cedrick Wilson and Nate Washington had decent practices, but neither one stood out on the field. Quincy Morgan had one beautiful grab, where he beat Ike Taylor across the middle and made Tyrone Carter miss him with a stellar turn to the outside.

Tight Ends

I didn?t see much of the tight ends. They were not utilized in the 11-on-11 drills or the one-minute drill, totaling no catches.

Offensive Line

Kendall Simmons and Max Starks seemed to be having problems containing Aaron Smith, who was consistently getting into the backfield. The second team left side seemed to be having similar problems against opposing defensive linemen.

Defensive Line

Aaron Smith and Travis Kirschke were consistently in the backfield wrapping up ball carriers and pressuring the quarterback. No one else individually stood out.

Linebackers

James Harrison picked off Ben Roethlisberger and Richard Seigler intercepted Omar Jacobs. Each of James Harrison, Larry Foote, and Clint Kriewaldt were constantly in the backfield, disrupting play after play.

Defensive Backs

Tyrone Carter started opposite Troy Polamalu at safety. He seemed upbeat and happy to be on the field. When Quincy Morgan swiveled past him on a reception, Carter chased him down and pushed him out of bounds laughing as he went along. For the most part, he had an extremely impressive afternoon. McFadden drilled Santonio Holmes after a reception near the end of practice, knocking the rookie receiver to the ground. Chidi Iwuoma intercepted a bullet from Shane Boyd and returned it for a touchdown in 11-on-11 drills. The defense played in the dime during the 11-on-11, starting Ryan Clark and Bryant McFadden along with Ike Taylor, DeShea Townsend, Troy Polamalu, and Tyrone Carter.

Special Teams

Both Jeff Reed and Mark Brubaker each booted 40-yard field goals, receiving a great round of cheers from the fans seated around the St. Vincent practice field. Quincy Morgan, Ricardo Colclough, Santonio Holmes, and Willie Reid fielded kickoffs. Nate Washington was once again present on the special teams unit, employed as a blocker on the kick return team. Ryan Clark was particularly impressive on the kick return, giving full effort.

One-Minute Drill

The one-minute drill begins with the offense at their 20 yard line with only a limited amount of time to score or get into field goal range. The first installment saw Roethlisberger complete short passes to each of Hines Ward, Verron Haynes, and Nate Washington, followed by a quick timeout. Following the timeout, Verron Haynes dropped a pass across the middle. On second down, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass, but was flushed out of the pocket and made his way down the sideline and out of bounds for a first down. On the ensuing play, Roethlisberger darted up the middle for an impressive gain to the opponent?s 30 and quickly got the team back to the line for a spike. The drill ended there. The second installment didn?t last long, as Charlie Batch tossed only two passes. The first one was a strike to Lee Mays along the left sideline for about a 15 yard gain. After hurrying to the line, Batch took advantage of a blown assignment by Chidi Iwuoma and lofted a deep pass to a wide open Willie Reid for a score, resulting in a mass applause from the hillside.

Luke?s Updated 53-Man Roster

QB1 Ben Roethlisberger
QB2 Charlie Batch
QB3 Omar Jacobs
RB1 Willie Parker
RB2 Duce Staley
RB3 Verron Haynes
RB4 Cedric Humes
FB1 Dan Kreider
WR1 Hines Ward
WR2 Cedrick Wilson
WR3 Santonio Holmes
WR4 Nate Washington
WR5 Willie Reid
TE1 Heath Miller
TE2 Jerame Tuman
TE3 Charles Davis
OT1 Marvel Smith
OT2 Max Starks
OT3 Trai Essex
OT4 Willie Colon
OG1 Alan Faneca
OG2 Kendall Simmons
OG3 Chris Kemoeatu
C1 Jeff Hartings
C2 Chukky Okobi
C3 Marvin Philip
DE1 Aaron Smith
DE2 Brett Keisel
DE3 Travis Kirschke
DE4 Shaun Nua
DT1 Casey Hampton
DT2 Chris Hoke
OLB1 Joey Porter
OLB2 Clark Haggans
OLB3 James Harrison
OLB4 Andre Frazier
ILB1 James Farrior
ILB2 Larry Foote
ILB3 Clint Kriewaldt
ILB4 Rian Wallace
CB1 Ike Taylor
CB2 Bryant McFadden
CB3 DeShea Townsend
CB4 Ricardo Colclough
CB5 Chidi Iwuoma
FS1 Tyrone Carter
FS2 Ryan Clark
FS3 Anthony Smith
SS1 Troy Polamalu
SS2 Mike Logan
K1 Jeff Reed
P1 Chris Gardocki
LS1 Greg Warren

http://www.fflivewire.com/article.asp?id=ywq338wry1365u
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: 8/4 Steelers Practice Report

Thanks again for taking the time to post this.

McFadden knows only one way to play - hit hard and ask questions later.

Question: Were they double teaming Aaron at all? I'm guessing no. He should enjoy that 'luxury' because it won't happen in games that matter. Warrior.

It's still too early but news about Simmons and Starks isn't comforting.
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: 8/4 Steelers Practice Report

Nice report, and nice pics!
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