Tomlin pleased with afternoon practice

| Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010

» Steelers coach Mike Tomlin finally saw something he really liked at training camp. "That was a legitimate training camp practice," Tomlin said following Tuesday afternoon's session at Saint Vincent College. "I loved the ebb and flow, success and failure on both sides of the ball. We're growing as a football team. We need to match and exceed that (today)."

» What Tomlin liked included an efficient passing attack during 11-on-11 red-zone drills. Rookie wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was a popular target. His highlight play featured a leaping, twisting touchdown catch on a bullet pass from Byron Leftwich.

» Running back Mewelde Moore, who filled in for a nicked-up Rashard Mendenhall for the second straight day, made a nice running sideline grab on a floater from Ben Roethlisberger.

» Roethlisberger took the most snaps during the red-zone drill with six. Leftwich and Dennis Dixon each took five snaps.

» Even though it appears the Steelers are focusing a lot more on moving the ball on the ground — they opened yesterday's afternoon session with running plays — don't be fooled by appearances. It only looks that way, according to Tomlin. "I know that's been a hot topic. What we're interested in is being more effective running the ball," Tomlin said. "Our emphasis really hasn't changed. We haven't had as much success as we'd like. We'll continue to work in that area."

» Speaking of the running game, it went nowhere on one play when inside linebacker Larry Foote met fullback Frank Summers head-on in the hole, easily winning hit-of-the-day honors. Summers was blocking for running back Justin Vincent.

» Tomlin told rookie offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey to line up again after Ziggy Hood beat him during lineman drills. Pouncey handled Hood on the next snap.

» At the conclusion of practice, Pouncey and other young linemen being considered for the kickoff return team were tested by the coaching staff for their ability to field short kickoffs — otherwise known as "pooch" kicks.

» Steelers owner Dan Rooney made his first visit to training camp yesterday. Rooney, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, entertained Pitt's men's basketball team in Dublin earlier in the week.

» Roethlisberger, who has handled all challenges on the field so far, figures to receive a different kind of test when commissioner Roger Goodell visits training camp tomorrow. "I'm sure they will visit in some form or fashion," Tomlin said. "I'm sure there will be some discussions." Goodell will determine the length of Roethlisberger's suspension, which is currently at six games but is expected to be reduced to four games.

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