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Inside the ropes: Big Ben is on target

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Monday, Aug. 2, 2010

Ben Roethlisberger directed the first-team offense during a two-minute drill and was nearly flawless Sunday at St. Vincent College.

Roethlisberger completed 5-of-7 passes for 58 yards in a span of 90 seconds and tossed a 16-yard touchdown to Heath Miller on a third down.

Byron Leftwich wasn't as successful with the second team. Leftwich completed just 2-of-7 passes and threw four consecutive incomplete passes to end the drill. One of those passes was dropped by rookie Antonio Brown.

» "Backs on 'backers" is one of coach Mike Tomlin's favorite drills. Tomlin wanted to see how much his rookie linebackers enjoyed the drill, too.

Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson took a hefty number of reps during the drill, winning much more than they lost.

Worilds beat each one of the most frequently used backs in the drill at least once in Justin Vincent, Isaac Redman and Demetrius Taylor. Tight end David Johnson got the best of Worilds once.

At one point, Tomlin yelled out "Let's see if anybody can block 97."

Gibson was just as intense. He was successful against Johnson, Rashard Mendenall and Frank Summers, while he was stood up once by Redman.

"If you are a linebacker and you are shy, you usually have a problem, and I don't think he has that problem," Tomlin said of Gibson.

» LaMarr Woodley may not have a new contract yet, but showed million-dollar skills yesterday. Going up against newly acquired right tackle Flozell Adams during one-on-ones, Woodley faked a speed rush and spun to the inside — right around Adams for a sack.

» Defensive lineman Ziggy Hood continued to flash early in camp as he used a spin move to get around right tackle Jonathan Scott during lineman drills.

» Leftwich took 19 snaps, Roethlisberger 18, Dennis Dixon 10 and Charlie Batch zero during the three team sessions of 11-on-11, including the two-minute drill.

» A day after fumbling 30 yards down the field, Mendenhall was at it again. Mendenhall fumbled for the second consecutive practice when the ball was ripped out of his hands near the sidelines of a running play during 11-on-11 team drills.

» Dennis Dixon was practicing holding for field goals.

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