It's a wrap

PITTSBURGH - The Steelers wrapped up their three-day minicamp Sunday with a morning practice, their fifth of the weekend.<br><br> What did the Steelers get out of this weekend's practices?

"This is where we start establishing the right habits and the attention to the little things," said Steelers head coach Bill Cowher. "There's that fine line. There was a lot of energy. And as long as it's not all misdirected, it's good."

Cornerback Chad Scott (ankle) and linebacker Kendrell Bell (groin) did not participate in Sunday's drills, but Cowher said neither is expected to miss the start of the voluntary coaching sessions that begin May 18.

Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, meanwhile, missed his third-straight day and is in line to be fined $7,000 for sitting out the mandatory drills.

Now, Burress isn't required to be back in Pittsburgh until training camp begins at the end of July.

Cowher hopes to have everybody, including Burress, back in town next week for the voluntary coaching sessions.

"They're voluntary, but we've stressed the importance of being here. There's a lot of new players and a lot of new coaches," Cowher said. "I'm just looking at our football team. I'm really not looking at anyone who's not here. I think it's important you focus on the guys who are here because they're the ones you go to war with."

As for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's first camp with the team, Cowher came away happy with the first-round pick's performance.

"I was impressed," Cowher said of Roethlisberger. "I was impressed that he wasn't overwhelmed. I was very encouraged by the way he was able to comprehend things. . He's got a strong arm and he's very athletic. You can see that by some of the throws he made on the move out here."

  • Tight end Jay Riemersma took part in the position drills and is on schedule to return from shoulder surgery.

  • Chris Hope continued his ball-hawking ways, picking off a Brian St. Pierre pass on a deep ball that floated during the 7-on-7 drills.

    In the team portion, Deshea Townsend picked off a Charlie Batch pass on a post pattern, jumping in front of the would-be receiver.

    Strong safety Troy Polamalu, meanwhile, got his hands on several balls, making diving plays to deflect passes at the last moment.

    "Troy is really flashing," said Cowher. "I think he's really stepping into a leadership role."

  • Guard Kendall Simmons is 10 pounds heavier than he played last season, when he was diagnosed with diabetes, and told me he did not experience any of the head rushes that plagued him last season during the weekend of drills.

    "That's a positive sign," Simmons said.

  • Rookie tight end Matt Kranchick made a nice grab over the middle, going down low to grab a pass before being upended by Hope.

    Kranchick appears to have great hands, but it's always tough to tell when they're not wearing pads and know that nine times out of 10 they won't get hit.

  • Clark Haggans was much more vocal during practice and seems to be playing with a whole new confidence.

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