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Old 08-20-2009, 06:55 AM   #1
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Default 'O's' workload may not increase much

View from the Press Box
Scott Brown

'O's' workload may not increase much

Posted August 19, 2009 8 :11 PM
News and notes from training camp...

The first-team offense may not play much more Saturday against the Redskins than it did in the Steelers' preseason opener.

"We're shooting for 15 snaps," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Wednesday. "Roughly the first quarter."

That is almost exactly how much the offensive starters played in a 20-10 win over the Cardinals at Heinz Field on Aug. 13.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Co. were on the field for 14 snaps against Arizona. The first-team offense played an extra series because it made only one first down on its opening possession.

Look for coach Mike Tomlin to apply the same thinking in regard to how long he plays the starters against the Redskins. If the Steelers can put together a lengthy scoring drive, the starters probably won't play more then two series. If they don't do much offensively in the first quarter the starters could play well into the second quarter.

Outside linebacker James Harrison missed practice Wednesday because of a stomach virus but Tomlin said it is not a "major issue." Rookie running back Frank "The Tank" Summers didn't practice because of a hamstring problem.

"Don't know the extent of it," Tomlin said.

Mewelde Moore practiced in full uniform for the first time in two weeks. The veteran running back has said he probably won't play against the Redskins.

Tomlin will address the injury situation Thursday morning at a news conference that previews the Redskins game though he probably won't rule anyone out for the 7:30 p.m. contest.

Anyone with concerns about Roethlisberger's arm should have seen the throw he uncorked during a seven-on-seven drill Wednesday.

Roethlisberger went deep to rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace and he put just enough air under the pass to let the speed merchant run under it and haul it in for a 73-yard touchdown.

"He looks really good," Arians has said of Roethlisberger earlier in the day.

Roethlisberger has taken only one day off as far as throwing since the Steelers have been at St. Vincent.

"I thought both he and Charlie (Batch) would take another day off but it doesn't look like they're going to need it," Arians said. "We had one scheduled."

Just because there is rarely any sanctioned tackling doesn't mean there is no hitting at training camp.

Wide receiver Martin Nance found that out when rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis popped him after Nance caught a pass in the flat. Easily the best stick of the day and one of the top ones of camp.

Nance and Brandon Williams, both of whom need to make up some ground after missing time with injuries, looked good working with No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon in the two-minute drill Wednesday.

Dixon led the offense down the field during the drill and capped the drive with a short touchdown pass to tight end Sean McHugh. Dixon looked sharp in practice Wednesday and has gotten much better following a shaky start to camp.

"He's doing some good things," Tomlin said. "He's had some good days of course, some moments. It's all part of the process. He's growing like a lot of the other ones."

James Harrison on the change in Tomlin as far as how he is running training camp: "He's done a tremendously better job from what it was the first year to what it is now even an improvement from last year until now."

With the Steelers breaking camp Friday read more in the Trib Thursday about the change in Tomlin and what players recall from his first training camp.
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