Steelers notebook: Physical drills thrill Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is loving all the hitting that's going on at Steelers training camp.
“Of course, I can't get hit,” Roethlisberger said following a Saturday practice that ended with six goal line plays — four won by the defense, two by the offense.
Coach Mike Tomlin is dialing up the amount of contact work — at the risk of injury — because he has young players he believes must get the work. As Roethlisberger said, the Steelers shed a number of veteran players in recent seasons who wouldn't have needed so much physical work.
“We're young in a lot of areas, particularly in the lines,” Tomlin said. “We've got young, talented defensive linemen and young, talented offensive linemen. The only way to improve is to play football. I've said it many times, but it's something I believe in and I'm going to give (them) an opportunity to show what they're capable of.”
After Saturday's practice, Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson, a former Raiders assistant coach who is working in camp in a coaching-like role, posted this Twitter message: “The team is looking good.”
Tempers flare during drills
Goal line drills and contact sometimes cause brief friction between player and player, and player and coach, and that was evident Saturday.
About midway through practice, defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo and left guard Ramon Foster tussled briefly at the end of the play. During a goal line drill late in practice, offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn't like how wide receiver Antonio Brown walked away following a play, rather than waiting to be corrected. Haley barked at Brown, “Don't you want to come over here and get it right?” A few minutes later, Tomlin could be overheard talking to Brown about the way he reacted.
A number of players sat out with minor injuries, including defensive end Brett Keisel, nose tackle Steve McLendon, tight end Matt Spaeth and linebacker Jason Worilds. Both top draft picks were out, too: linebacker Jarvis Jones (unspecified) and running back Le'Veon Bell, who was seen with a wrap on his left knee.
Linebacker Adrian Robinson wore an ice pack on his right thigh. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons missed for personal reasons. Defensive backs Cortez Allen (knee), Terry Hawthorne (knee) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) also remained out.
Veteran OT Batiste added
The Steelers picked up veteran offensive tackle D'Anthony Batiste, who will be with his seventh NFL team. He has played in 37 games and started 14. He replaces non-drafted rookie free-agent guard Nik Embernate, who was waived after sustaining a serious knee injury, tearing two ligaments.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LeBeau won’t join Cardinals coaching staff
- Increasing pressure on QBs will be offseason focus for Steelers
- Steelers’ Rooney ‘not expecting a problem’ with new Big Ben deal
- Seven questions facing Steelers in quest for seventh Super Bowl title
- Steelers’ unrestricted free agent Moats proves worth at linebacker
- Steelers mum on national report involving head of security
- Steelers sign CFL defensive end Lemon
- Steelers sign punter Wing to 1-year extension
- Steelers’ Rooney says both teams should use same footballs
- NFL names sportsmanship award after Steelers founder