Steelers inside the ropes
Published: Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
• The Steelers used a league-high 25 different offensive line combinations last season. Through 21⁄2 weeks of training camp, the unit continues to shuffle along. Saturday's practice saw Mike Tomlin switch things up a bit. Marcus Gilbert moved from right tackle to left tackle; Ramon Foster went from left guard to right tackle; and Willie Colon returned to left guard for the first time in a week because of an injury. Maurkice Pouncey (center) and David DeCastro (right guard) rounded out the top five. The change was made, in part, because of left tackle Mike Adams' knee injury that kept him out of practice.
• The competition period had Tomlin watching closely, as tight ends and defensive ends went one-on-one in a blocking drill. The tight ends got the best of the action. Leonard Pope beat Cameron Heyward twice; Weslye Saunders had his way with Corbin Bryant, and Jamie McCoy looked impressive against Bryant and then Ikponmwosa Igbinosun.
• The competition period with the skill players was highlighted by an Antonio Brown 70-yard touchdown reception from Ben Roethlisberger over Ike Taylor.
• Rookie safety Robert Golden made a pair of athletic plays to break up passes — one during 7-on-7 and another during the team scrimmage period. During 11-on-11, Roethlisberger rolled to his right and tried to hit Brown sitting down near the hash marks 20 yards downfield. Golden, an undrafted free agent, leaped and knocked the ball to the ground.
• The biggest hit went to rookie third-round pick Sean Spence. Criticized from being too small, the 5-foot-11, 231-pound inside linebacker stood up fullback Will Johnson (6-2, 238) in the hole on an inside handoff, much to the delight of his teammates.
• The temperature at St. Vincent College was the coolest so far during camp, barely reaching into the 70s.
— Mark Kaboly
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