Mewelde Moore, William Gay agree to terms with Steelers

| Monday, Aug. 1, 2011

The Steelers reached agreements Sunday with veteran free-agent running back Mewelde Moore and unrestricted free-agent cornerback William Gay.

Moore spent the past three years with the Steelers, predominantly as a third-down back. He had 33 carries for 99 yards a season ago and 26 catches for 205 yards.

The Steelers were in need of a third-down back. The role was filled during yesterday's first day of full-padded practice by rookie Baron Batch.

Gay was the Steelers' fifth-round pick in 2007 out of Louisville.

The Steelers have retained their top three cornerbacks back from last year's Super Bowl team. Gay will likely assume the nickle back position in the Steelers' defense.

Gay had 48 tackles (40 solo) and 2 sacks in 16 games for the Steelers last season.

Heat of the moment

Rookie cornerback Curtis Brown returned to practice yesterday after leaving Saturday's session with mild heat exhaustion.

"I threw up, and they didn't want me to overheat," said Brown, a third-round draft pick from Texas. "We only had 20 minutes left, but they wanted me to be safe. I didn't want to come out of practice, but they said I had to."

Brown, who worked out this summer with several NFL veterans in Boca Raton, Fla., said the near 100-degree temperature on the synthetic turf wasn't the problem. Instead, it was a simple case of rookie anxiety.

"It was mostly nerves and anxiousness being out there for the first time," said Brown, who grew up in the suffocating heat of East Texas. "I think that played a part. I was everywhere yesterday, and I was trying to do too much too fast."

Brown, who signed a four-year deal Friday, is expected to contribute this season as a backup behind corners Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden and Gay.

"I'm just trying to focus on getting any kind of playing time, especially special teams," Brown said.

Buckeye surprise

Rookie defensive end Cameron Heyward said yesterday he was surprised that Ohio State had allegedly committed several NCAA violations that led to the resignation of coach Jim Tressel and the unceremonious exit of former Jeannette quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

"I never thought it would come to that," said Heyward, who played three season with the Buckeyes before the Steelers made him their first pick in this year's NFL Draft. "Now, they are trying to correct what happened in the past."

Heyward and Pryor became close friends while in Columbus. Heyward hosted Pryor during his recruiting trip, and they played AAU basketball together.

"Terrelle made some unfortunate mistakes," Heyward said. "I would have loved to see Terrelle go back to Ohio State, but he had to leave."

Injury update

Coach Mike Tomlin held several players out of practice, including wide receivers Limas Sweed (hamstring) and Emanuel Sanders (foot). Also, offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) was sidelined, along with cornerbacks Keenan Lewis (heat-related illness) and Crezdon Butler (quad tightness).

"These are the training camp-type things that will provide opportunities for others," Tomlin said. "Some of the young guys who can use those opportunities under the circumstances."

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