By: Eric Hagman

LATROBE (KDKA) – Today’s practice seemed to lack the intensity of what you might expect during the final week of training camp, but coach Mike Tomlin didn’t necessarily agree.

“I like the energy the group came back out with,” said Tomlin, referring to Saturday’s loss to the Giants. “This is an important bounce-back week for us and I think we got off to a good start.”

The team never did go “live,” so there was no tackling but there were a couple of audible collisions that drew “oohs” and “ahhs,” including one between RB LaGarrett Blount and S Will Allen. The collision actually ended up with the bulkier Blount on the ground.

Allen played FS with the first string defense; Mike Mitchell did not dress and spent most of the session behind the defense next to defensive backs coach Carnell Lake. LIB Ryan Shazier was dressed, but did not take part in team drills. Instead, he was replaced by Sean Spence.

Tomlin said that Mitchell and tight end Matt Spaeth suffered some bumps and bruises on Saturday. They should return to practice on Tuesday. Tomlin also said that receiver Justin Brown was limited because of ‘a little thumb injury.”

Notable plays – Ben Roethlisberger hit Markus Wheaton in stride on a deep throw down the right sideline, despite decent coverage from Atwan Blake. Jarvis Jones also batted down a Landry Jones pass at the line of scrimmage.

The offense jumped offside at least three times during different practice periods with Roethlisberger at the helm. Antonio Brown and David DeCastro were two of the culprits.

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau – who has a relationship with Special Teams Coach Danny Smith when both coached in Washington – watched practice and chatted with Smith and former Redskins K Shaun Suisham during the workout. He also met Troy Polamalu. (Also, Boudreau’s shirt was stain free, although he had not yet joined the team for dinner.)

The Steelers will practice only three more times at St. Vincent College.

The Wednesday and Thursday sessions will be with the Buffalo Bills, who will be Saturday’s opponent at Heinz Field.

“We need to put a good exclamation point on the remaining work here in Latrobe,” Tomlin said.

He also called this a key week for players.

“If someone’s going to make a substantial move, it’s going to be this week,” Tomlin said.

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