PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left practice after his lower leg was injured from fallen linemen after he had thrown a pass and never returned.

But he stayed on the field and was “fine” according to Tomlin.

Here is how it went down between Jim Colony and Mike Tomlin:

Colony: ”How’s Ben?”
Tomlin: “He’s great.”
Colony: “So nothing, he looked like he got hit low.”
Tomlin: “Nothing.”

Roethlisberger was on target throughout and, after getting shut out yesterday, he converted 3 of 4 passes from the 2-yard line in 7 Shots to open practice.

Steelers worked in shorts and shells Thursday at St. Vincent College and also under the watchful eyes of a partial officiating crew, featuring Referee Gene Steratore and four others.

“The rules are ever changing and not only in terms of the black and white rules and rule changes, but also the points of emphasis, and I think that’s where the relationship really gets fostered in a positive way,” Tomlin said. “The points of emphasis this year are those guys coming in this setting and being able to interact with our guys during the training process and educate them. It’s extremely helpful for us and communicating with them, it’s also helpful to the officials in terms of getting them up to speed. It’s a really positive relationship for both sides.”

That prompted some drama/comedy on an Antonio Brown catch down the left sideline – great catch and perfect throw by Ben Roethlisberger over good Artie Burns coverage – but it was ruled out of bounds by the official on the scene. AB pleaded his case to the other official on that sideline back near the line of scrimmage then a friend of AB’s took out his cellphone video of the play. Mike Tomlin actually wandered over to review the video and finally the call on the field was upheld.

Brown made his usual quota of nice catches and big plays, and so did newcomer Justin Hunter, who had his best day of camp so far. It also was an opportunity for rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs to get more snaps.

“I thought he took advantage of the reps,” Tomlin said. “He’s taken some calculated risks associated with the position, pushing the ball down the grass which is good. He’ll get opportunities to prove himself, but to grow and I think that was reflective of his effort today.”

There was a brief scare when LT Alejandro Villaneuva got tangled up on a run play and stayed down for a couple of minutes. He was examined by trainer John Norwig but played every first team snap the rest of the way.

Tomlin says he wanted to practice without pads Thursday, especially in light of the Friday Night Lights practice at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium, which he expects to be spirited.

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