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Steelers notebook: Team holds rare practice at soggy Heinz Field

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Coach Mike Tomlin will get his first on-field look at the 2013 Steelers beginning with Tuesday's offseason practice.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Thursday, June 6, 2013, 8:48 p.m.
 

There was a surprise waiting several of the groups who toured Heinz Field on Thursday — a real live Steelers practice was taking place, something that never happens during the season. Part of the workout featured red-zone offense drills. Coach Mike Tomlin likes his team to work out once every spring in their home stadium. And, unlike some NFL coaches who automatically move practice indoors during rainy weather, Tomlin decided to practice outside on a wet day.

“Oftentimes in the fall and winter when we are working in our stadium (on game days), it is less than ideal weather conditions,” he said.

Tomlin didn't offer an update on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had right knee surgery Wednesday to alleviate discomfort. He won't practice again until training camp. “There's nothing new to add,” Tomlin said. “He's resting comfortably at home. We will get him in the building next week and proceed.”

• Thursday's ninth OTA session — a 10th was canceled Monday — wrapped up that portion of the Steelers' offseason work. They will have a three-day minicamp Tuesday through Thursday on the South Side before breaking for six weeks in advance of training camp.

• The Steelers placed cornerbackJustin King on the injured reserve list. The move ends his season. The former Gateway High player was a fourth-round pick out of Penn State by the Rams in 2008 and joined the Steelers late last season but didn't play. To replace King, they signed free agent cornerback Nigel Malone, who was first signed by the Colts as an undrafted rookie free agent from Kansas State this spring.

• A limited number of tickets for the Steelers' eight regular-season and two preseason home games will go on sale through Ticketmaster beginning 10 a.m. on June 15. Fans may buy up to four tickets, in any combination, for any home game. A majority of the tickets will be priced at $66 or $70. The Steelers have sold out every game for decades but set aside some individual game tickets for fans who do not have season tickets.

—Alan Robinson

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