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Steelers notebook: Mitchell participates in first practice

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Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
The Steelers' Dri Archer gets past safety Mike Mitchell during practice Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in Latrobe.
By Alan Robinson and Mark Kaboly
Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, 8:39 p.m.

• Steelers safety Mike Mitchell (groin) practiced Monday for the first time since camp began July 25, and he acknowledged it was difficult being patient as his teammates worked daily without him. “They're all banged up, and I see how sore they are and I want to feel that way, too,” he said.

• Also returning were rookie TE Rob Blanchflower (high-ankle sprain) and rookie LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) but held out were LB Jarvis Jones (groin) plus LB Ryan Shazier and C Maurkice Pouncey with what coach Mike Tomlin said were minor injuries. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion) and DL Steve McLendon (undisclosed) were out. CB Ike Taylor was given the day off.

• Special teams coach Danny Smith was badly shaken up after he was driven into a bench during the Friday night practice. Yet he hasn't missed a day, which earned even more respect from his players.

• According to secondary ticket seller Vivid Seats, the Steelers are the second-most popular NFL road team, with a median ticket price 44 percent above average. Secondary tickets for the Browns opener Sept. 7 average nearly $300, partly because it might be Johnny Manziel's debut.

• Defensive end Cam Heyward can't help but notice how much faster the defense is, thanks to the players such as Ryan Shazier and Mitchell. “We've got to keep blockers off our linebackers, and if we're doing that, they're going to fly downhill because you see the speed out there,” he said.

— Alan Robinson

Camp schedule

Tuesday: Players day off; no practice.

Wednesday: 3 p.m.

Thursday: 3 p.m.

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