Reporting Jim Colony
The Steelers practiced twice on Wednesday at St. Vincent College, the team talked ratifying a new CBA, Emmanuel Sanders foot injury, LaMarr Woodley continuing contract talks. Find out more about that on this site and on 93.7 the Fan and KDKA-TV. Here is what happened during the open practice…
After practicing well Tuesday, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu were given the afternoon off by Mike Tomlin … Harrison left midway through practice with Dr. Joe Maroon but did not appear to be in any kind of pain or distress so perhaps just a checkup (after Harrison underwent two back procedures during the off-season).
2nd year CB Crezdon Butler and veteran Bryant McFadden still out with hamstrings … vets Ike Taylor and William Gay unavailable … 3rd year man Keenan Lewis was back on the field so he got first team reps with rookie Curtis Brown … and twice had excellent coverage on speedster Mike Wallace. It’s quite possible that Lewis can cover Wallace better than any CB in the NFL … if he could do that against other teams’ best WRs the Steelers could have one of the best CB tandems in the league.
Tomlin spent one period watching LB v. RB/TE pass coverage … the highlight was Lawrence Timmons on Rashard Mendenhall running down the seam … Timmons had great coverage but Byron Leftwich threw a perfect rainbow to his Mendenhall in stride. Timmons was audibly displeased.
Among the highlights of the final first team 11 on 11 session … Ben Roethlisberger to Wallace on an intermediate route and a Roethlisberger connection to Antonio Brown … Brown a standout in camp early on.
7th round picks Baron Batch continues to hit holes decisively and run with confidence … and on one run drew whoops and hollars from the first team defenders on the sidelines … but when I asked about Batch Tomlin only said, “he’s a rookie.”
Thursday’s practice is 2:55 … don’t forget Friday night at Latrobe Stadium … Saturday at 2:55 … players off Sunday.