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Old 08-03-2006, 07:45 PM   #1
Water Boy

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Default 8/2 Steelers Practice Report

The Steelers players embraced their first of two night practices scheduled for this month. Latrobe Memorial Stadium was at full capacity, including fans that waited outside an astounding eight hours before the gates opened. The players preceded practice with a 15-minute autograph session and the voice of the Steelers, Bill Hillgrove, announced the practice in its entirety. Pictures from the practice can be viewed HERE.


Ben Roethlisberger had a great practice, throwing nearly every ball right on target. Dick LeBeau had the defense coming on nearly every play and Big Ben showed the ability to get outside and hurl the ball downfield on the run. Omar Jacobs is slowly improving his throwing motion and did a grand job of hitting his targets. Shane Boyd impressed me with his mobility and ability to throw on the run.


None of the runningbacks had an impressive practice. Willie Parker and Duce Staley shared snaps with the first team offense. Staley looked like the best back on the field, hitting the hole consistently and excelling during his limited opportunities as a receiver. Parker got stood up in the backfield on several occasions and only seemed to excel when he bounced a play outside. Verron Haynes dropped a pass and fumbled for the second time this week. Both he and Cedric Humes had trouble locating their running lanes up the middle. During the goalline drill, Staley had two carries for two yards, Haynes had two carries for two yards and a fumble, and Humes had one carry for no gain. Branden Joe caught a Charlie Batch strike in the near corner of the endzone on second down of the second goalline drill.

Wide Receivers

Cedric Wilson was injured about halfway through practice and Quincy Morgan took his spot opposite Hines Ward. Nate Washington remained in the slot, while Santonio Holmes, Sean Morey, and Willie Reid kept their respective 4-6 spots in the rotation. Ward and Holmes each put on an aerial display, leaping and hauling in every pass within arms? reach. Holmes? effort included a leaping sideline grab over Bryant McFadden. Reid made a tremendous one handed grab up the seam and was also utilized on the only trick play of practice, a reverse. Quincy Morgan also made a fancy grab running down the seam in 7-on-7 drills. Eugene Baker did not dress.

Tight Ends

Heath Miller and Ben Roethlisberger have been working together often in camp and they continue to form an imposing duo. Miller has been utilized all over the field: short, deep, inside, and outside. Jonathan Dekker and Isaac Smolko each made beautiful sideline grabs, but both also dropped easy catches in the middle of the field during 7-on-7 drills.

Offensive Line

I have little to report on the offensive line. The second unit failed to open up a running lane for Cedric Humes in the goalline drill. Center Marvin Philip got into a shoving match with fellow rookie Lee Vickers, who was lined up opposite Philip in 7-on-7 drills. Tackle Trai Essexlined up as the third tight end in the goalline.

Defensive Line

I have zero to report here. I talked to Shaun Nua briefly during the autograph session, but I have nothing substantial to report from that conversation. As mentioned above, the tempers were flaring between Lee Vickers and Marvin Philip.


Joey Porter ran a couple laps prior to practice, but did little else. He hung out with Willie Parker, Duce Staley, and Verron Haynes after his laps. James Farrior laid a vicious hit on Haynes in the goalline drill and was in on the tackle that saw Haynes lose the pigskin.

Defensive Backs

Tyrone Carter started with Troy Polamalu at safety. Bryant McFadden made the play of the day for the defensive backs, batting away a deep pass intended for Nate Washington. Anthony Madison blew an easy interception, allowing it to slide from his grasp to the grass below. Polamalu was in on the stop with Farrior where Verron Haynes coughed up the ball in the goalline drill.

Special Teams

Chris Gardocki was the fan favorite and responded with a smile and a peace sign to the animated fans who devotedly chanted his name. The kickers and punters had the night off, while the coaches focused on the punt coverage and punt return teams. Santonio Holmes, Willie Reid, and Cedrick Wilson fielded punts. Reid particularly looked fluid catching the ball and showed a burst of speed as he jetted down the field. It is worth noting that Nate Washington lined up at gunner for the punt team. The coaches may be looking for a more dynamic wide receiver with the ability to also replace Sean Morey on special teams.

Luke?s Updated 53-Man Roster

QB1 Ben Roethlisberger
QB2 Charlie Batch
QB3 Omar Jacobs
RB1 Willie Parker
RB2 Duce Staley
RB3 Verron Haynes
RB4 Cedric Humes
FB1 Dan Kreider
WR1 Hines Ward
WR2 Cedrick Wilson
WR3 Santonio Holmes
WR4 Nate Washington
WR5 Willie Reid
TE1 Heath Miller
TE2 Jerame Tuman
TE3 Charles Davis
OT1 Marvel Smith
OT2 Max Starks
OT3 Trai Essex
OT4 Willie Colon
OG1 Alan Faneca
OG2 Kendall Simmons
OG3 Chris Kemoeatu
C1 Jeff Hartings
C2 Chukky Okobi
C3 Marvin Philip
DE1 Aaron Smith
DE2 Brett Keisel
DE3 Travis Kirschke
DE4 Orien Harris
DT1 Casey Hampton
DT2 Chris Hoke
OLB1 Joey Porter
OLB2 Clark Haggans
OLB3 James Harrison
OLB4 Andre Frazier
ILB1 James Farrior
ILB2 Larry Foote
ILB3 Clint Kriewaldt
ILB4 Rian Wallace
CB1 Ike Taylor
CB2 Bryant McFadden
CB3 DeShea Townsend
CB4 Ricardo Colclough
CB5 Chidi Iwuoma
FS1 Ryan Clark
FS2 Tyrone Carter
FS3 Anthony Smith
SS1 Troy Polamalu
SS2 Mike Logan
K1 Jeff Reed
P1 Chris Gardocki
LS1 Greg Warren

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Old 08-03-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: 8/2 Steelers Practice Report

Thanks for the report, it was great, keep them coming (nice photos too)
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: 8/2 Steelers Practice Report

Originally Posted by SteelerMurf
Thanks for the report, it was great, keep them coming (nice photos too)
The lighting Wednesday night made most of my pictures suck.
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