Steelers notebook: Rookie free agent Jones takes on special teams
• Asked which special teams units he's playing on, undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Howard Jones said, “All of them.” Jones, the former Division II star at Shepherd, recovered two fumbles against the Giants. Still, the linebacker said, “I definitely need to get better at those (special teams).”
• So is Dri Archer a running back or a wide receiver? The answer: yes. “I switch it up. I meet with both coaches and go over everything. You've got to stay in your playbook and know your role.”
• First-round pick Ryan Shazier (knee), held out of the first preseason game, and WR Justin Brown (thumb) did minimal work in practice Monday. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion) returned, but TE Matt Spaeth and S Mike Mitchell were out with what coach Mike Tomlin said were minor postgame “bumps and bruises.” TE Michael Palmer (ankle) didn't practice.
• Lawrence Timmons said he's not closely watching the Johnny Manziel-Brian Hoyer quarterback competition in Cleveland. “I'm trying to get focused on this (camp) right now,” he said. “When that (Sept. 7 opener) comes, that's when we'll be ready.”
• Tomlin expects to see separation players this week as the Steelers practice twice against the Bills before playing them Saturday night. “I think we've got a legitimate opportunity for guys to take a significant step between game 1 and game 2,” he said.
— Alan Robinson
Wednesday: 3 p.m., Joint practice with Buffalo Bills
Thursday:5:30 p.m., Joint practice with Buffalo Bills
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