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Steelers notebook: Tight end hopes to get suspension reduced

| Friday, July 27, 2012, 8:38 p.m.

• Steelers TE Weslye Saunders doesn't know whether his four-week suspension — he says it was for using Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat hyperactivity — will be reduced. Because the Steelers have a bye week during the first month of the season, he would miss only three games even if the suspension isn't trimmed. “I'm still waiting to hear back,” he said. “Obviously, some guys around the league already had their suspensions lifted or reduced. I'm still hoping.”

• The Steelers will practice in pads for the first time Saturday; the collective bargaining agreement reached last season mandates three days in camp before contact work. This will be the first time they get a true look at top draft pick David DeCastro. “He's probably ahead of me (as a rookie) right now, especially knowing all the plays and all,” Maurkice Pouncey said. “He's done a great job, hopefully when we get him in pads and he can be aggressive with everybody.” So far, DeCastro is splitting time with Ramon Foster at right guard and second-round pick Mike Adams is sharing time with Trai Essex at left tackle. Max Starks (knee) remains on the physically unable to perform list.

• TE Heath Miller (ankle) and NT Alameda Ta'amu (foot) remained out of practice; punter Jeremy Kapinos (back) was added to the injury list. … LG Willie Colon on switching from tackle to guard: “When you're at tackle, you have the whole side of the field to work with. When you're inside, everything just comes a lot faster.” … Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney watched practice. He is on a two-week break from his job as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

— Alan Robinson

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