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Old 07-25-2007, 05:04 AM   #1
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Default Steelers don pads for morning session

Steelers don pads for morning session
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made good on his promise that practices would be filled with contact.
But no one expected the contact would occur so quickly.

Rain washed out the Steelers' first practice open to fans and pushed the afternoon session indoors to Carey Center.

However, that didn't keep Tomlin from working his players hard.

Tomlin's morning session Tuesday at St. Vincent College included a blocking/pass-rushing drill normally reserved for afternoons under former coach Bill Cowher.
In a departure from the past, the Steelers donned shoulder pads in the first workout on the first day of two-a-days. And there was an intense session about an hour into the practice, with running backs attempting to prevent linebackers from getting to the quarterback.

"I thought it was very productive," Tomlin said. "We'll continue to do drills like that, pit guys against each other."

Needless to say, the Steelers got the message that training camp under Tomlin will be different.

"Our very first drill was 9-on-7. Guys who have been around here know we don't do that for about four days," nose tackle Chris Hoke said. "Coach Tomlin really wants to get working right away, so we've got to be ready to do that.

"We've known all along it would be different. Coach Tomlin is different from coach Cowher."

Added wide receiver Nate Washington: "It's (Tomlin's) way or no way."

Linebackers played a big part in the morning practice.

The Steelers' first session of the day provided an opportunity to observe linebacker James Harrison's pass-rushing techniques in his first season as Joey Porter's replacement. Harrison often exploded off the ball, utilizing his quickness and upper-body strength to beat blockers impeding his path.

Yesterday also was a chance to see how quickly rookies Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley are picking up the defense.

Woodley has a head start in securing playing time at left outside linebacker because Timmons missed offseason workouts with a groin injury. Yesterday, Timmons, who plays behind Harrison at right outside linebacker, moved inside on passing downs.

Left outside linebacker Clark Haggans to put the morning practice in perspective.

"The way I look at it, football's a violent game, so we've got to have violent mornings," Haggans said. "It isn't like everyone's going to sit there and hold signs and picket and say, 'We're not going to hit today.' The end result is everybody wants to win, so we've got to do what it takes to win."

Big hitting aside, Tomlin made no excuses for the unit sloppy play. He addressed the issue of playing error-free football with the team following yesterday's morning practice.

Tomlin was particularly upset about several pre-snap mishaps between the quarterback and center.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers don pads for morning session

Quote:
"The way I look at it, football's a violent game, so we've got to have violent mornings," Haggans said. "It isn't like everyone's going to sit there and hold signs and picket and say, 'We're not going to hit today.' The end result is everybody wants to win, so we've got to do what it takes to win."
I just LOVE what I hear coming out of camp. With the talent level this team has, I just wonder how far we can go?
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers don pads for morning session

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Added wide receiver Nate Washington: "It's (Tomlin's) way or no way."
As it damned well should be! Great to hear that the Tomlinator is busting their chops in camp - it's only going to make them a better and more motivated team with that hunger to win and be the best!
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