Inside the ropes: RBs Bell, Redman return to practice
Running backs Le'Veon Bell and Isaac Redman participated in practice a day after getting banged up. Bell's left knee didn't seem to bother him, and Redman had little discomfort with the pinched nerve in his shoulder.
• Cornerback Cortez Allen participated in coverage drills without pads. It was his first action in more than two weeks after having minor surgery on his right knee. He and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) ran sprints and tested their mobility.
• Receiver Antonio Brown appeared to be geared up for Monday's game against the Redskins. He handled every ball thrown his way and split two defenders on a punt return. “The sky's the limit, if you ask me,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “He can be as good as he wants to be. I've seen growth from him and improvements, and that's what we want to see. He's come along as the No. 1 guy.”
• With all the focus on the right corner with Allen's injury, veteran Ike Taylor came up with the day's best play during the 11-on-11 scrimmage. He dashed in front of Emmanuel Sanders for an interception that brought his teammates and a quiet crowd to their feet. … Rookie receiver Markus Wheaton had his left knee wrapped at lunch, but he was at full speed returning punts.
• Kelvin Beachum has become the team's most versatile offensive lineman. Beachum moved from center, guard to tackle this week. In an effort to become the backup center behind Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey, Beachum looked better in blocking drills than he did Thursday. “He's an accountable guy who the coaches really like,” Pouncey said. “Center is a hard position, especially with the snaps. He has grown since the OTAs. He's physically able to do it because he's good at everything. He's not the strongest guy, but he has leverage and he works his technique.”
• Roethlisberger spent much of practice tutoring rookie Landry Jones. “Obviously, standing on it a lot and running on it can wear you down a little bit, but no setbacks and nothing negative,” he said of his surgically repaired right knee prior to practice.
• Linebacker Jason Worilds vowed to temper his enthusiasm after he was flagged with roughing the quarterback and unnecessary roughness against the Giants. The NFL announced Friday that it fined Worilds $15,750. Yet Worilds turned it up a notch during practice as he battles rookie Jarvis Jones for the starting job opposite LaMarr Woodley.
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