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Inside the Ropes: Roethlisberger crisp in no-huddle

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Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, 8:48 p.m.

Ben Roethlisberger looked sharp during the Steelers' no-huddle portion of practice. Roethlisberger connected on all three of his passes — two to Antonio Brown and one to Chris Rainey. Roethlisberger also handed off to running back Baron Batch twice before giving way to the second team.

• With Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer limited because of injuries, and newly signed running back Jason Ford unable to practice until Friday, the Steelers were thin at the position for practice. Batch took most of the first-team snaps, with fullback Will Johnson working with the second-team. Batch and Rainey split time with the third team.

• Rainey looked solid in pass protection when he took on blitzing linebacker Mortty Ivy during 11-on-11. Rainey weighs 178 and Ivy 239.

Jamie McCoy and David Paulson took reps at David Johnson's former position of fullback/tight end.• Nose tackle Steve McLendon continued to work with the second-team nickel package as a defensive tackle. In the nickel, the Steelers employ only two down linemen — typically Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood.

Max Starks remains limited after being removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list but got some work in on the far field when he pushed a Toro tractor with associate strength and conditioning coach Marcel Pastoor and injured linebacker Jason Worilds sitting in the front seat. Starks pushed the tractor 10 yards at a time.

• Rookie linebacker Adrian Robinson continued to turn heads, this time coming against starting-caliber competition. Robinson beat tackle Marcus Gilbert twice during linemen drills.

• One of the smallest crowds of training camp was on hand for the third-to-last practice at St. Vincent.

— Mark Kaboly

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