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Old 08-16-2007, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default From the Trib.....lookin' good

Steelers LT Smith back in the lineup
By John Harris
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Left tackle Marvel Smith returned to the lineup Thursday after missing practice time this week because of an ailing back. Smith is expected to start Saturday night against the Washington Redskins along with LG Alan Faneca, C Sean Mahan, RG Kendall Simmons and RT Willie Colon, who all practiced with the first team yesterday. C Chukky Okobi, who injured his ribs, said he expects to play next week against Philadelphia.

Just get him the ball: Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is searching for different ways to get the ball to wide receiver Santonio Holmes. On one occasion yesterday afternoon, Holmes took a handoff from running back Kevan Barlow on a reverse. Another time, running back John Kuhn handed off to wide receiver Hines Ward, who hit Holmes downfield with a pass. By re-inserting Holmes in the starting lineup, the Steelers clearly plan to make full use of Holmes' playmaking ability.
Goal-oriented: Three tight ends were used during goal-line drills, with an emphasis on the run. Najeh Davenport, who missed Wednesday's practice because of a minor foot problem, ran a play behind blocking back Carey Davis.

Switcheroo: Defensive coodinator Dick LeBeau's unit was full of tricks. In an unusual pre-snap look, left cornerback Ike Taylor and strong safety Troy Polamalu switched positions, with Polamalu inching closer to the line and Taylor retreating deep in the secondary.

All smiles: After finding out that he'll make his pro debut Saturday night, rookie linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who had been sidelined with a groin injury, offered reporters a rare smile following practice. Before meeting with the media, Timmons, a two-way high school all-state performer in South Carolina, showed off a surprisingly strong throwing arm as he prepared to leave the field. Timmons threw several passes that easily traveled at least 60 yards with a tight spiral.

No change: The only two starting jobs up for grabs on defense are at right cornerback and free safety. Deshea Townsend and Ryan Clark ran with the first team at those positions yesterday and are expected to start against Washington. Anthony Smith, Clark's competition at free safety, missed another day of practice with an abdominal injury.

Take it easy: Considering it was the last day of training camp and that a heavy morning rain drenched the practice fields, players went half-speed quite a bit in the afternoon. The last thing that coach Mike Tomlin wanted was any of his players suffering a needless injury on a wet field on the final day. Everyone left the field in one piece.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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