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Old 05-05-2008, 03:18 AM   #1
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Default Roethlisberger returns for Steelers mini-camp finale

Roethlisberger returns for Steelers mini-camp finale
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, May 5, 2008

Ben Roethlisberger wore a sombrero during the Steelers' final mini-camp practice.
His presence at the team's South Side facility Sunday turned out to be just as big a question as his choice of lids for "Hat Day."

Coach Mike Tomlin had excused Roethlisberger following the first of two practices the Steelers held Saturday. Tomlin said he wasn't sure Saturday if Roethlisberger would be back for Sunday's practice, which is why he initially said the quarterback had been excused for the rest of mini-camp.

Roethlisberger leaving and then returning to mini-camp was no big deal, Tomlin said.

As for the hats Roethlisberger and his teammates wore instead of helmets, Tomlin said, "It's a tradition we like to do on the last day of camp, a little reward for the work that they've done but also at the same time take a little edge off that last practice. You hate for guys to get through four practices in 48 hours and have something happen from an injury standpoint as you leave town."

The only injury of note that occurred during mini-camp was the strained hamstring that sidelined rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall for much of it.

Mendenhall, a first-round draft pick, said he expects to be able to participate in the OTA (organized team activity) practices the Steelers will hold May 20-22.

Less is more?

The Steelers are taking a different approach this year when it comes to practicing special teams.

Tomlin said special teams won't be worked on as much during the offseason and training camp practices.

That may seem like an odd way to go about improving the aspect of the game where the Steelers struggled in 2007. Tomlin, however, said less practice time could translate into the Steelers getting more out of their special teams units.

"I'm trying to create a little urgency through scarcity," Tomlin said. "We're not going to do it as much. We're going to work hard, but we're going to work smarter."

Information overload

The rookies left the team's South Side facility yesterday with their heads all but spinning because of how much they were asked to absorb during mini-camp.

"They're all lost. They don't have a clue," Tomlin said. "I say that smiling because that makes them normal. They get a playbook thrown at them, and they're going out and competing against the best in the world at what it is they do."

Tomlin said he is impressed with the rookies' approach to the game.

"It appears to be a very humble group," he said, "which is a good basis to begin."

Mendenhall may not have practiced much, but he did have plenty of questions for veteran running backs such as Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport.

"(Parker) and Najeh and the rest of the running backs have really tried to help me along," Mendenhall said. "Whatever I needed, I felt confident going to them."

Extra points

Tomlin said the difference between 2007 first-round pick Lawrence Timmons from last year to this year is "night and day." Timmons is competing with Larry Foote for the starting job at right inside linebacker. He is also practicing at right outside linebacker. ... Tomlin on strong safety Troy Polamalu, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery and won't practice until training camp: "We knew that would be the case coming out of the surgery and we're just dealing with it." ... The Steelers have 12 OTA practices scheduled for later this month and June.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_565807.html
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Roethlisberger returns for Steelers mini-camp finale

Good to see everything is clicking right along.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Roethlisberger returns for Steelers mini-camp finale

Good news all around!

I like how Tomlin seems to changing his approach as he learns going into his second year. He got a taste of success but knows there's much room for improvement. The Rooney's made a great choice, as usual!
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Roethlisberger returns for Steelers mini-camp finale

Extra points

Tomlin said the difference between 2007 first-round pick Lawrence Timmons from last year to this year is "night and day." Timmons is competing with Larry Foote for the starting job at right inside linebacker. He is also practicing at right outside linebacker. ... Tomlin on strong safety Troy Polamalu, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery and won't practice until training camp: "We knew that would be the case coming out of the surgery and we're just dealing with it." ... The Steelers have 12 OTA practices scheduled for later this month and June.

The part about Timmons really gets me excited and to hear that the young man is looking good is Awesome Baby!!
I would love to see the more atheletic Timmons get the job away from Larry Foote and run with it all the way to a pro bowl this..
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