LATROBE -- The Pittsburgh Steelers donned pads Wednesday for the first time this season, and the reviews have to be mixed.
Aesthetically, the Steelers were butt-ugly, thanks to three backup quarterbacks who couldn't hang on to the football.
But on a deeper, more primal level, the hitting was keenly satisfactory.
The backs-on-backers drill kicked off the workout, and as has been the case the last few years the "Law Dawg," Lawrence Timmons, got it started by going up against Le'Veon Bell, who was up to the challenge as the two ended in a draw.
Scheduled to start the first two games of the season, DeAngelo Williams couldn't handle Vince Williams the first time, and was then flattened like a bug on a train rail on a second attempt.
But DeAngelo Williams bounced back against Sean Spence. Williams knocked the linebacker on his butt, and when Spence asked for another rep Williams said no.
"I did my rep," Williams said in a rare denial of a teammate's request. "I don't have anything to prove."
Jarvis Jones, who's showing more power this year, performed well in his reps. Terence Garvin and Roosevelt Nix had perhaps the loudest collision. Jordan Zumwalt easily ran past rookie back Ross Scheuerman, but Scheuerman did much better in a second rep, prompting Mike Tomlin to remark, "You're coming around Ross and it didn't take all day!"
Ben Roethlisberger smoothly went three-for-three in the "Seven Shot" drill in which the team takes seven attempts at two-point conversions. But the other quarterbacks bumbled around the field the rest of the way.
Tajh Boyd fumbled two snaps and Tyler Murphy fumbled one. Landry Jones went under center and spun a perfect spiral for a completion, but before you could finish Rodney Dangerfield's quote that "If you want to look thin, hang out with fat people," Jones fumbled a shotgun snap, and followed it up with an incompletion into the dirt to an open tight end in the flat.
* DeAngelo Williams made an adjustment during a conversion play to get open and catch one from Roethlisberger.
* Alejandro Villanueva was beaten around the edge late in practice, but the rest of the day was a wall of granite against second and third-teamers.
* Martvavis Bryant caught a Roethlisberger pass over the middle and with two giant strides was up the field and gone.
* Cortez Allen made a diving interception of Roethlisberger on a comeback route.
* Vince Williams made the most thunderous hit of the day on poor rookie tight end Cameron Clear.
* DeAngelo Williams was the only offensive player to participate in the defense's daily post-practice conditioning work of up-downs and sprints.
MISSING FROM ACTION