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Inside the ropes: Woodson helps Jackson 'man' up

The Steelers' Justin Brown

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By Ralph Paulk
Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

• Rod Woodson knows a thing or two about man coverage. So former Pitt defensive back Buddy Jackson listened carefully as Woodson worked with him on technique. Jackson had been schooled several times in passing drills near the end zone, but he fared much better during the seven-on-seven drills.

• Cornerback William Gay spent much of practice bashing himself when surrendering a completion. He constantly slammed his hands into the turf in frustration. Gay is filling in as a starter at right cornerback for Cortez Allen, who is nursing an injured knee.

• Rookie receiver Justin Brown has caught nearly every pass thrown his way during training camp. He had a couple of acrobatic grabs Sunday as he scooped up an underthrown pass and pulled down one too tall for most Steelers receivers — except 6-foot-5 Plaxico Burress. Brown, though, was humbled when he couldn't get his hands up fast enough to keep the ball from spiraling into his face mask.

• All receiver David Gilreath continues to do is catch passes. He might be a long shot to make the team, but his one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone is reflective of how well he's performed in camp.

• Baron Batch was the only back to find daylight in the power-run drills. But he took a heavy hit from two defenders and looked dazed as he walked off the field. He returned to participate in special teams drills. Also, the Steelers gave fullback/tight end Will Johnson a workout on short-yardage plays, but he seldom was used as a lead blocker.

• Tight end John Rabe split the seam of the secondary for a long gainer. Safety DaMon Cromartie-Smith, who was beaten on the play, chased him down before he could reach the end zone.

— Ralph Paulk

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