Monday afternoon practice

<b>LATROBE -</b> Monday afternoon's practice began with so much promise as Steelers head coach Bill Cowher appeared ready a few times to lose his famous temper. <br><br> But after the midway point of the muggy afternoon session, Cowher calmed down and the team settled in for more work.

At one point Monday, Cowher had starting QB Tommy Maddox and Chukky Okobi working on the center exchange after the two bumbled one.

On another occasion, Cowher screamed at long snapper Mike Schneck, who had muffed a snap in the kicking drills, causing Jeff Reed to badly miss his kick.

"Chris Almighty," Cowher railed at Schneck. "You had the whole F-ing period to be ready."

It was the kind of explosion the media here has been waiting for. But Cowher cooled considerably after that.

Maddox didn't have his best session.

He was erratic with his throws and even lost the ball once as he wound up to throw.

He has been sharp in previous practices, so it was not that big a deal. Watching Reed and rookie Jonathan Ruffin practice kickoffs, Reed had much more depth and height on his kickoffs.

Guard Calvin Collins left practice early with a stomach virus. After watching him miss a block of David Upchurch, who went in to tackle running back Jerome Bettis in the backfield, I can understand why. You better have something wrong with you when the UFA rookies are schooling you.

Chidi Iwuoma and Amos Zereoue returned to practice, while Hank Poteat continues to wait things out with his sore shoulder. Poteat may be waiting until he thinks the other backup corners in camp match his poor play from last season. That wait may never happen.

Dale Lolley

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