Monday morning practice report

<b>LATROBE --</b> For fans who wonder what the closed morning practices are like, take it from me: You're not missing a thing. <br><br>First of all, they don't wear full pads, just shells, so the attitude is much less fierce. It's a teaching atmosphere, but the players end up standing around almost as much as the reporters, who are allowed to watch from the sidelines.

Shane Walton and Robert Blizzard were held out of the practice because of minor injuries. Jerame Tuman made his first appearance at camp with a bandaged elbow.

The one-on-one drills were held after the stretch and I watched the linebackers. Alonzo Jackson is the biggest linebacker on the team, but has perhaps the worst hips. He'll always have difficulty dropping into coverage, as he proved against Jay Riemersma in the 7-on-7 passing drill. More on Jackson later.

In special teams drills, the Steelers worked with their first team punt-return unit. The return men, in order, were Antwaan Randle El, Freddie Milons, Terry Fair and rookie Ricardo Colclough. The latter showed excellent hands and caught one difficult punt over his head.

In the team drills, Casey Hampton (who weighed in at 330) and Aaron Smith were the starting tackles in the nickel defense, which was again used before the dime. Without pads, it's difficult to really gauge the line play, but Jackson had a couple of decent plays in a row. He shoved Max Starks deep into the pocket on the first play and then had a very good rep against Oliver Ross. Even though he didn't pressure the quarterback, Jackson received a loud "There you go, Zo!" from volunteer linebackers coach Kevin Greene. Jackson has his moments, but I think he has a long, long way to go.

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