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Old 07-30-2007, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default Tomlin relents, shortens Steelers practices

Tomlin relents, shortens Steelers practices
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The Steelers worked out in shorts in the morning, and coach Mike Tomlin ended both of yesterday's practices about 15 minutes early.

"Yeah, I'm a nice guy," Tomlin said with a smile.

When he put together the schedule for camp, one that included 15 two-a-day practices, Tomlin said he did so with the idea that he would make changes to it (i.e. shorten practices or eliminate them altogether) if the players met certain standards.

"They're playing with great energy and enthusiasm, so we want to throw them a bone every now and then," Tomlin said.

Tomlin also has to be mindful not to wear out his players during training camp. Camp is longer this year since the Steelers are playing in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday, and the team is doing much more hitting than it did under Tomlin's predecessor, Bill Cowher.

"Yeah, I think that's a concern," strong safety Troy Polamalu said on how physical the practices have been. "We've been used to something (else), at least for me, the last five years, and some guys seven or eight years."

? Steelers left outside linebackers James Harrison (ribs) and Lawrence Timmons (groin) didn't practice yesterday. The players that are first and second, respectively, on the depth chart at their position are day-to-day, Tomlin said. Timmons was sidelined for most of the Steelers' offseason practices because of a groin injury, and he recently had tests to determine the cause of it, Tomlin said.

? The Steelers held running back Verron Haynes (knee) out of practice yesterday. Tomlin said the team is easing the veteran, who had reconstructive surgery last November, back into practice.

? The Steelers, Tomlin said, are also trying to find a way to work linebacker Derek Rehage (thumb) into practice. Rehage has a cast on his thumb.

? The team did get good news, as tight end Matt Spaeth returned to practice after missing some time with a minor shoulder problem.

? Wide receiver Santonio Holmes appeared to be at full strength as he went through drills yesterday.

"It looks as though he's good enough to go," Tomlin said.

Holmes has been recovering from an undisclosed medical procedure.

? Chris Jackson apparently made more of an impression on the Steelers players than he did on the coaching staff. The rookie wide receiver, who was given the nickname "Click Clack" because he wore a pair of Under Armour cleats to the team's first minicamp practice in May, was released after just a week of training camp. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder had signed with the Steelers in April as an undrafted free agent. In addition to releasing Jackson, the Steelers signed wide receiver Gerran Walker.

? Tomlin had high praise for Max Starks after the right tackle excelled during a pass-blocking drill yesterday afternoon.

"He's getting after people," Tomlin said. "He came (to camp) in shape. I've been impressed by him."

Starks, a fourth-year veteran, is getting pushed for his starting job by second-year man Willie Colon.

Colon started the final two games of the 2006 season when Starks was sidelined with a knee injury.

? The Steelers claimed linebacker Marquis Cooper off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks yesterday and waived safety Harrison Smith. Cooper signed with the Steelers last October and was on the roster for three games. He played in two of them before getting released on Nov. 25.

Digits

8 - The difference between Steelers turnovers and that of their opponents last season, putting them near the bottom of the league in turnover margin.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_519797.html
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin relents, shortens Steelers practices

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? Tomlin had high praise for Max Starks after the right tackle excelled during a pass-blocking drill yesterday afternoon.

"He's getting after people," Tomlin said. "He came (to camp) in shape. I've been impressed by him."

Starks, a fourth-year veteran, is getting pushed for his starting job by second-year man Willie Colon.

Colon started the final two games of the 2006 season when Starks was sidelined with a knee injury.
Just blows my mind... is Starks starting to develop an attitude? Or starting to put that "Potential" to use?
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tomlin relents, shortens Steelers practices

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Just blows my mind... is Starks starting to develop an attitude? Or starting to put that "Potential" to use?
He dropped around 40 pounds in the offseason. I believe the guy was up to around 380 at one point last season. I would have to believe that is helping with his foot work (which I believe was one of his main weaknesses last season). While I was not pleased with his play last season, he seems like a great guy. Excellent personality and I wish him the best if he's not a Steeler at the end of this season.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tomlin relents, shortens Steelers practices

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He dropped around 40 pounds in the offseason. I believe the guy was up to around 380 at one point last season. I would have to believe that is helping with his foot work (which I believe was one of his main weaknesses last season).
Man... Wouldn't it be nice if he could put it together this year? Dang. It sure would be nice to have depth on the O line.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:08 AM   #5
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Man... Wouldn't it be nice if he could put it together this year? Dang. It sure would be nice to have depth on the O line.
It would be great. He might make it hard on the Steelers if his TC camp showing flows over to September 9 and beyond.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tomlin relents, shortens Steelers practices

Starks is playing for a contract somewhere else next year; if a player is in the last year of his contract and is not signed up for a renewal by the start of the regular season it is very unusual for the Steelers to bring him back. Cannot see Starks cutting a new deal by Labor Day.

On another note, once the weather cools I guess we can look forward to seeing Timmons patrolling the sidelines in the Duce Staley line of grey sweats - I know the Steelers need to be patient with injuries of this type but it is frustrating that the #1 pick could not make it halfway through the first week of camp.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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Starks is playing for a contract somewhere else next year; if a player is in the last year of his contract and is not signed up for a renewal by the start of the regular season it is very unusual for the Steelers to bring him back. Cannot see Starks cutting a new deal by Labor Day.

On another note, once the weather cools I guess we can look forward to seeing Timmons patrolling the sidelines in the Duce Staley line of grey sweats - I know the Steelers need to be patient with injuries of this type but it is frustrating that the #1 pick could not make it halfway through the first week of camp.
Isn't that the truth!!
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