Bad weather loomed overhead at St. Vincent for much of the afternoon, before finally halting practice with drenching rains and a 30 minute thunderstorm. Once the thunder and lightning passed, practice resumed on the artificial turf of field #4.
The notable (and mostly obvious) lineups today were:
Matt Spaeth as first Tight End.
Isaac Redman as first Running Back.
Jason Worilds as first Right Outside Linebacker.
Cortez Allen opposite Ike Taylor at Corner.
Al Woods at second team Nose Tackle. Brian Arnfelt at second team Left Defensive End.
The second team Offensive Line was:
LT- Joe Long, LG- John Malecki, Center- Kelvin Beachum, RG- Justin Cheadle, RT- Guy Whimper.
The QB rotation was Ben Roethlisberger, John Parker Wilson, and Landry Jones behind him.
Speaking of Quarterbacks, here’s a snippit of Big Ben throwing during the garbage can drills. Ben was the only one to have made it in today, after doing so, he took off his helmet and did a victory lap for the fans.
The Running Back rotation during drills was Redman, Dwyer, Batch, McNeal, Stephens-Howling, Johnson, and Bell. Later, in team drills, Redman had one rep with first team. Dwyer, Batch, Bell, and Larod Stephens-Howling all had a turn as well. Dwyer, who said he’d show up to camp in shape, apparently did so. He looked to be in good condition, and perhaps even in better shape than a year ago according to one report. On the topic of RB’s, Willie Parker is interning at camp and working with the backs. When asked about Le’veon Bell, he said, “he’s smooth…he’s got the mechanics…to be a great running back”. Bell drew some lighthearted criticism from Coach Tomlin with remarks like “finish everything you do!” and ‘…you don’t know where you’re going, do you?’.
Receivers Coach Richard Mann was asked about the group of WR’s minus Wallace and his reply was, “They’ve got speed. They might not be burner burners, but they’re fast enough.” A few of them showed that today. Sanders beat William Gay deep, then later Cortez Allen for a long run. After which, Coach Tomlin yelled- ‘hey Cortez, they ain’t throwing at Ike, baby!”. Antonio Brown also made a deep catch over Allen off a throw from Ben Roethlisberger. Kashif Moore made a deep catch, and Plaxico Burress beat Demarcus Van Dyke on a double move for a big gain.
Ike Taylor had a Landry Jones pass deflect off his hands, and Ryan Clark ended up with the pick. Coach Tomlin followed with, “Hey Ike, that’s why you’re a pro bowl alternate!”
Heath was doing straight line sprints on the sideline during drills and looked comfortable. When Heath was questioned about his return timetable, he said he couldn’t give one and was just attacking one day at a time. When asked about the team making up for his production while he was out, he said, there’s ‘plenty of guys to make plays…I know the guys are going to do that while they’re here’.
David Johnson says he’ll be ready to go this September, but doesn’t know when he’ll be ready during camp.
Mike Golic Jr., who had stitches above his eye, was seen working at Center after practice was over.
Coach Tomlin addressed the media briefly after practice and said there were no bumps and bruises today. He thought Ben looked good in terms of his knee, and thought everyone looked good, but it’s still just football in shorts. The players had some adversity today with the weather, but the guys dealt with it in a good manner.
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