"The heat got to him a little bit today," said Steelers Coach Bill Cowher. "He only missed the conditioning."">
"The heat got to him a little bit today," said Steelers Coach Bill Cowher. "He only missed the conditioning."">

Notebook: Injuries are minor

<b>LATROBE - </b> Joey Porter was taken from the practice field on a cart yesterday, but it had nothing to do with the "tight groin" that kept him out of the previous day's run test.<br><br> "The heat got to him a little bit today," said Steelers Coach Bill Cowher. "He only missed the conditioning."

Also excused early because of the heat at St. Vincent College was rookie tight end Robert Blizzard.

The starting tight end, Jerame Tuman, will miss at least 10 days after undergoing surgery to remove a bursa sac from his elbow.

"We drained it but it filled back up," Cowher said. "Rather than deal with that all year, we went in and took the bursa out. It's probably going to be about seven days and then you have to let the wound heal, so you're looking at probably 10-11 days, barring any setback, and he'll be back out."

Tuman, who's caught 24 passes in five seasons, is listed as the team's first-team tight end on the depth chart. He was replaced on the first team yesterday by Jay Riemersma. Matt Cushing played when the Steelers used two tight ends.

The only other position up for grabs is tailback, where Jerome Bettis took the first snap during the full scrimmage. He was replaced on successive plays by Duce Staley, Verron Haynes, Dante Brown and rookie Willie Parker.

"Each day Jerome and Duce will each alternate running with the first group," Cowher said. "And then Verron and Dante are behind them."

THE BIG BEN WATCH

The Steelers' chief negotiator, Omar Khan, showed up at training camp not with first-round pick Ben Roethlisberger in tow, but an ironing board.

"He's here to iron out a deal," one reporter cracked, but Khan shook his head because the Steelers didn't expect to reach an agreement last night. Cowher was asked if he'd received any news about his quarterback of the future.

"None," he said.

Cowher did have hope that another player would be signed, but outside linebacker Adrian Ross is still deciding whether to accept the Steelers' offer. Said Cowher: "We've got to look at it."

QUICK HITTERS

Chad Scott did add streamers or excessive tape or even police tape to his uniform at the first practice. He instead dressed as part of the team. But the veteran cornerback looked similar in other ways. He clearly grabbed Plaxico Burress' jersey after being beaten on one play, and Scott was beaten for a sensational catch by Hines Ward. As usual, he balanced his day by intercepting a Tommy Maddox sideline pass intended for Ward and returned it for a touchdown. … Recently signed linebacker James Harrison was given Jason Gildon's old No. 92, a number the Steelers were hoping to keep out of play, along with Mark Bruener's No. 87, this season. … The Steelers used a nickel defense before using a dime defense yesterday. The linebackers remained on the field while a defensive lineman was lifted for cornerback Ike Taylor. … The second-team offensive tackles are Todd Fordham (right) and Barrett Brooks.

QUOTABLE

Cowher on the upper practice field, which was carved out of a cornfield last season: "The field of dreams is still up there. They said, 'If you build it they will come.' Well, they came last year but we left. I'd rather practice down here."

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