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Old 07-27-2007, 02:14 AM   #21
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post

anthony smith... the steelers might as well give him a 6 year extension tomorrow. could it possibly be like having lohn lynch in his prime in the same backfield as polamalu? sick.

Yeah... just lock the bugger up now.

That kid is turning into a monster.
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Steelers Notebook: It happened one night -- Ben looking sharp
Saturday, July 28, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Coach Mike Tomlin abandoned the live goal-line drill that for years traditionally ended a Steelers night training camp practice, only he forgot to tell that to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger treated the goal line as his personal playground, throwing consecutive touchdown passes and adding a third in 11 on 11 to the delight of the estimated 12,000 fans who turned out last night at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.

The quarterback looked in top form as he rifled a 15-yard pass in the left front of the end zone to Cedrick Wilson, who held on after a big hit from safety Tyrone Carter. Next, Roethlisberger showed perfect touch on a 15-yard lob pass to tight end Heath Miller, who stretched his 6-foot-5 frame just enough in the right back corner of the end zone for the score.

Although Roethlisberger did throw one misguided pass on a rollout that safety Anthony Smith dropped in the end zone, the quarterback came back and pitched a 35-yard touchdown to Nate Washington.

"I was real pleased,'' said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "He knows what he's doing right now."

Well-deserved breather

Tomlin eased up on his team for the first time.

He extended their curfew last night after practice and canceled this morning's scheduled 90-minute practice at Saint Vincent College.

Although the players still must attend meetings this morning, it's the first time they will not have two daily practices since their first Tuesday morning. They will have a two-hour practice starting at 2:55 p.m. that is open to the public.

"It's good to throw the guys a bone now and then," Tomlin said.

Timmons a spectator

No. 1 draft pick Lawrence Timmons wasn't involved in last night's practice. After reinjuring his groin on Thursday, Timmons watched morning special teams practice for 10 minutes and then left the field when quarterbacks and the offensive line were dismissed.

Timmons is expected to play on several special teams as a rookie but things are not off to a good start.

Two, but not tough

There are two-a-day practices, and then there are two-a-days and not all are the same. That first coach Tomlin held on the first morning of camp, Tuesday, was a real practice, two hours long and plenty of hitting.

Then there was yesterday's one-hour drill. It was all special teams, no hitting -- unless you count the number of times players tried to knock down a volleyball as they "rushed" the punter.

Ten minutes into the morning practice, the entire offensive line and the four quarterbacks were dismissed, along with Hines Ward and Timmons. They walked back into the dorm with two coaches, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and line coach Larry Zierlein.

Thirty minutes later, the defensive line departed.

Block that kick?

Watching special teams practices in the morning -- unfortunately, not open to the public -- is like watching a three-ring circus. Over here, players are running and batting volleyballs as if they are saving a punted football from bouncing into the end zone. Over there, more volleyballs are being pooch punted as players try to block them.

The former regime rarely tried to block kicks and maybe this one won't either, but they're certainly putting a lot of practice time into it.

There's also the football-on-a-stick. Think banana-on-a-stick, only the stick is about 3 feet long and the football is not covered in chocolate. It's not exactly high-tech; the coaches use it to signal the snap from center -- they hold the stick, put the ball on the ground and yank it up on the snap.

Don't forget the skinny posts. That's what they call a certain route run by receivers down the middle.

Now they are literally using skinny posts in practice -- goal posts about half the width of normal ones so kickers, I suppose, can get used to kicking through tighter quarters.

The other day, they went to the mattresses -- not like La Cosa Nostra -- using big foam rubber things as a soft landing ground for players trying to extend their bodies to block a punt. No bedsprings involved and no bedposts.

Holmes still out

Santonio Holmes again did not practice. Holmes, who might practice soon, had a non-football "procedure" before camp started.

Haynes comes back

Halfback Verron Haynes practiced for the first time last night after the Steelers withdrew him from the physically unable to perform list.

Haynes must fight to reclaim his spot on the team as a third-down back and backup halfback.

The competition is keen for Haynes with Najeh Davenport, Kevan Barlow, John Kuhn and a couple of other free agent backs in camp.

Haynes blew out his left knee -- virtually every ligament in it -- last November and made a miracle comeback to practice in the spring. Such injuries normally take at least a year to heal.

"I wasn't even supposed to be practicing until November," Haynes said.

"They don't want the setbacks to occur. So right now since I'm ahead of schedule, they want to keep it that way, monitor everything. Coach talked to me: It's a long preseason. We're just going to monitor it day by day."

Haynes has been running this week.

Rehage returns

Another player who came off the PUP list and practiced for the first time last night was linebacker Derek Rehage, who did so wearing a splint on his broken thumb.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07209/805168-66.stm
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:17 PM   #23
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Inside the ropes
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tomlin pleased

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was so satisfied with Friday night's practice at Latrobe High School that he gave his players this morning off.

Well, not exactly.

The Steelers don't have to practice this morning, but they do have to attend meetings. Better than nothing -- right, coach?

"Throw the guys a bone every now and then. They deserve it," Tomlin said. "(They're) not off. Get them off their feet. Have meetings instead."

As for last night's practice, Tomlin liked what he saw. He said the large crowd at Latrobe Memorial Stadium energized the players.

There were blocking drills and some unscheduled hits by the defense, but no full contact.

None of that seemed to matter to the fans, who appreciated what they were watching and cheered loudly.

"It was fun. Great to come out here and give the fans a treat," Tomlin said.

Koonce impressive

Free-agent linebacker Richard Koonce looked good during last night's 'backers vs. backs blocking drill. Koonce repeatedly used his power and speed to challenge blockers and apply steady pressure to the quarterback.

Koonce, who started four games and recorded 19 tackles, one sack and one interception for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europa, is also trying to make his mark on special teams.

On the mend

Rookie linebacker Lawrence Timmons observed last night's practice in shorts. Timmons is recovering from a groin ailment he re-injured Thursday morning. Tomlin said Timmons will be re-evaluated today and that his status is day-to-day.

Also, running back Verron Haynes, who dressed out last night, was removed from the physically unable to peform list. Haynes, who has made a remarkable recovery from major knee surgery, said he is close to full speed.

Second-year wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who underwent a non-football related medical procedure prior to training camp, is still not ready to practice and remains day-to-day. Linebacker Derek Rehage (thumb) will return in a limited capacity.

Opportunity knocks

Wide receiver Nate Washington has gotten more reps in Holmes' absence. Washington caught a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in 11-on-11 drills last night.

He said it

Quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson on working with Roethlisberger: "The fundamentals of playing quarterback really haven't changed. The game has changed. I think all quarterbacks have to be sound fundamentally, and that's what we're working hard on."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_519505.html
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

http://post-gazette.com/pg/07211/805508-66.stm

Steelers Notebook: Defense bests offense in 'fun' goal-line drill

Monday, July 30, 2007
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Coach Mike Tomlin decided to end his first week of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe with some excitement, conducting a full-scale best-of-seven goal-line drill that included chicanery, confusion and maybe even some collusion.

"We had a little fun out there," Tomlin said.

The defense won the drill, 4-2, but not before the offense tried to use some of the defensive players to score.

It worked when quarterback Charlie Batch threw a touchdown pass to defensive end Brett Keisel, who was lined up as a tight end for the offense.

When Keisel caught the ball, many of the defensive players mistakenly thought he was on their side and made an interception to end the drill.

But it didn't work on the next play when nose tackle Casey Hampton -- yes, Hampton -- lined up at fullback and was stopped short of the end zone on a big hit by inside linebacker Clint Kriewaldt, ending the drill.

"That's the last time I'm doing that," Hampton said.

The 330-pound Hampton seemed to ease into the line, prompting Tomlin to jokingly charge that "Hampton was on the take with that snap to the fullback."

Holmes returns

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes returned to full practice for the first time since training camp began and said he was more tired than he thought he would be.

Holmes, a No. 1 pick in 2006, had been kept out of practice after having a procedure for an undisclosed non-football-related problem.

"It was pretty tough finishing up practice," Holmes said. "I still got a lot of work to do."

Parker shines


Running back Willie Parker was the star of the one-on-one drill pitting blitzing secondary players against running backs, prompting Tomlin to hint that Parker might be used more in third-down situations.

Parker stood up charging safety Tyrone Carter with a big hit, exciting the crowd alongside the hillside. When Carter shoved Parker after the exchange, Parker angrily gave Carter a two-handed shove to the chest.

"I wasn't taking none of that," Parker said. "We're friends, but today we're enemies.

"That's how I get when I block now. I get a little jacked up. That's how it's going to be from now on, no matter who I go against."

"We got a group of tough backs," Tomlin said.

When asked if Parker has a chance to play on third down, Tomlin said, "Yes."

Quick hits

Outside linebacker James Harrison (ribs) sat out practice, but Tomlin said the injury is nothing significant and listed Harrison as day-to-day.

"It's more of a precaution," Tomlin said. "James always wants to play, but we got a long way to go."

With Harrison out, the Steelers looked at a lot of players on the right side, including left outside linebacker Clark Haggans and inside linebacker Rian Wallace.

Outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (groin) and tight end Matt Spaeth (shoulder) -- two of their top three draft picks -- did not practice again.

After just one practice each of the past two days, the Steelers will resume two-a-day practices today. The afternoon session at 2:55 p.m. is open to the public.

Staying under control


Safety Anthony Smith has become something of a target on the field for his hard hits, especially on second-year wide receiver Willie Reid. But that is the way he plays and the reason the coaches like his ability to make big plays.

But, as the free safety, Smith has to be judicious because he is the last line of defense in the secondary, especially when strong safety Troy Polamalu often roams all over the field.

"The only problem with me and him being in there at the same time is we're both risk-takers," Smith said. "Troy can take a few more [risks]. I take my shots. I have to be smart about it, though."

Asked if it's hard for him to curtail his style, Smith said, "It's not tough at all. You just can't make a big play every time. I try to make as many as I can."
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:29 PM   #25
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I love risk takers like Anthony Smith...Yes they could lead to big plays....But you can't be laid back playing NFL football...I watched the Super Bowl vs the Bears/Colts again today on NFL Network and the Bears were to laid back on defense and afraid to take any risks against Peyton....When you do that against a QB like Peyton he will find a way to win and he did just that......
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:18 AM   #26
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I love risk takers like Anthony Smith...Yes they could lead to big plays....But you can't be laid back playing NFL football...I watched the Super Bowl vs the Bears/Colts again today on NFL Network and the Bears were to laid back on defense and afraid to take any risks against Peyton....When you do that against a QB like Peyton he will find a way to win and he did just that......

Seems that we as Steelers like risk takers too...

Remember Woodson? Big risk taker. Remember our HALF OUR LB's? Big risk takers.

yep, we have a long tradition of risk-takers on Defense.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:25 AM   #27
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Seems that we as Steelers like risk takers too...

Remember Woodson? Big risk taker. Remember our HALF OUR LB's? Big risk takers.

yep, we have a long tradition of risk-takers on Defense.
Oh yea I remember Rod Woodson..........My all time favorite Pittsburgh Steeler....I'm not old enough to experience the Curtain days....So Rod was my guy growing up...Him and Greg Lloyd....Was a big fan of Darren Perry also...I always thought Perry didn't get the credit he deserved.......With so much talent on those Blitzburgh defenses he got lost in the shuffle.......

Well Dick LeBeau's 3-4 blitz defense is all about taking risks really..........thats why I love this defense so much.........
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:23 AM   #28
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Inside the ropes
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, July 30, 2007

Dangling a carrot

Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel probably said it best following a spirited goal-line drill won by the defense Sunday afternoon at St. Vincent College.

"We love this type of thing," said Keisel, who not only switched over to offense and played tight end but also caught a touchdown pass from Charlie Batch. "It's a live drill at the end of a work week when everyone's banged up. It's exciting for everyone to come out."

The goal-line drill, a longtime training camp favorite of the players and yesterday's final activity, featured the first scheduled live contact under coach Mike Tomlin. In the drill, the defense stopped the offense four times. The offense scored on Willie Parker's run and Keisel's catch.

Keisel said he took the goal-line drill seriously because of a promise Tomlin made to the players.

"Coach Tomlin put a little incentive on it," Keisel said. "If you were vested and you won, you get the night off. So that added a little bit of bonus to it."

More chippiness

Safety Tyrone Carter, who mixed it up with wide receiver Nate Washington on Saturday, got into it with Parker during yesterday's blocking drill featuring defensive backs and running backs.

When Parker neutralized Carter without allowing him to get to the imaginary quarterback, Carter shoved Parker under the shoulder pads.

Parker, who has improved his dedication to pass-blocking considerably since last season, took Carter's action in stride.

Parker also had an interesting pairing with cornerback Ike Taylor. After Parker drove Taylor to the ground in their first encounter, Taylor moved to the head of the line in front of Chidi Iwuoma so he could go against Parker again. This time, Taylor beat Parker with an outside rush.

Steelers defensive backs have been the talk of training camp.

Safety Anthony Smith said he spoke with wide receiver Hines Ward after Ward criticized Smith and fellow safety Ryan Clark for their hard hits Saturday on Reid.

"We talked. We talk every day," Smith said. "It's nothing personal."

No explanation yet from Smith about his hard hit on Reid during Thursday's practice.

Linebacker shortage

With injuries sidelining starting right outside linebacker James Harrison (rib) and rookie backup Lawrence Timmons (groin), veteran Clark Haggans moved from the left side to the right side, with Rian Wallace filling in on the left side. "It's an opportunity for Clark to show his versatility," Tomlin said. Haynes healthy

As promised, running back Verron Haynes is working his way back into all of the drills. Haynes, recovering from major knee surgery, participated in his first full-contact drill when the running backs blocked against the defensive backs. HE SAID IT: Smith explaining Saturday's big hit on Reid: "I was actually going for the interception. I got there before the ball, and I was trying to protect myself."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_519650.html
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:25 AM   #29
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Steelers Notebook: Defense bests offense in 'fun' goal-line drill
Monday, July 30, 2007

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Coach Mike Tomlin decided to end his first week of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe with some excitement, conducting a full-scale best-of-seven goal-line drill that included chicanery, confusion and maybe even some collusion.

"We had a little fun out there," Tomlin said.

The defense won the drill, 4-2, but not before the offense tried to use some of the defensive players to score.

It worked when quarterback Charlie Batch threw a touchdown pass to defensive end Brett Keisel, who was lined up as a tight end for the offense.

When Keisel caught the ball, many of the defensive players mistakenly thought he was on their side and made an interception to end the drill.

But it didn't work on the next play when nose tackle Casey Hampton -- yes, Hampton -- lined up at fullback and was stopped short of the end zone on a big hit by inside linebacker Clint Kriewaldt, ending the drill.

"That's the last time I'm doing that," Hampton said.

The 330-pound Hampton seemed to ease into the line, prompting Tomlin to jokingly charge that "Hampton was on the take with that snap to the fullback."

Holmes returns

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes returned to full practice for the first time since training camp began and said he was more tired than he thought he would be.

Holmes, a No. 1 pick in 2006, had been kept out of practice after having a procedure for an undisclosed non-football-related problem.

"It was pretty tough finishing up practice," Holmes said. "I still got a lot of work to do."

Parker shines

Running back Willie Parker was the star of the one-on-one drill pitting blitzing secondary players against running backs, prompting Tomlin to hint that Parker might be used more in third-down situations.

Parker stood up charging safety Tyrone Carter with a big hit, exciting the crowd alongside the hillside. When Carter shoved Parker after the exchange, Parker angrily gave Carter a two-handed shove to the chest.

"I wasn't taking none of that," Parker said. "We're friends, but today we're enemies.

"That's how I get when I block now. I get a little jacked up. That's how it's going to be from now on, no matter who I go against."

"We got a group of tough backs," Tomlin said.

When asked if Parker has a chance to play on third down, Tomlin said, "Yes."

Quick hits

Outside linebacker James Harrison (ribs) sat out practice, but Tomlin said the injury is nothing significant and listed Harrison as day-to-day.

"It's more of a precaution," Tomlin said. "James always wants to play, but we got a long way to go."

With Harrison out, the Steelers looked at a lot of players on the right side, including left outside linebacker Clark Haggans and inside linebacker Rian Wallace.

Outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (groin) and tight end Matt Spaeth (shoulder) -- two of their top three draft picks -- did not practice again.

After just one practice each of the past two days, the Steelers will resume two-a-day practices today. The afternoon session at 2:55 p.m. is open to the public.

Staying under control

Safety Anthony Smith has become something of a target on the field for his hard hits, especially on second-year wide receiver Willie Reid. But that is the way he plays and the reason the coaches like his ability to make big plays.

But, as the free safety, Smith has to be judicious because he is the last line of defense in the secondary, especially when strong safety Troy Polamalu often roams all over the field.

"The only problem with me and him being in there at the same time is we're both risk-takers," Smith said. "Troy can take a few more [risks]. I take my shots. I have to be smart about it, though."

Asked if it's hard for him to curtail his style, Smith said, "It's not tough at all. You just can't make a big play every time. I try to make as many as I can."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07211/805508-66.stm
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:52 AM   #30
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Default Re: 2007 Steelers Training Camp Notebook Articles

Seems like Parker will be given the chance for many third downs, he's really working hard, he's a tough guy too, can't wait to see him against the best defenses in the league with this new attitude he has.
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