Friday afternoon practice report

LATROBE – In a practice head coach Bill Cowher called the team's best of the week, the offense looked especially crisp in easily winning the team's first no-huddle drill in impressive fashion.

With the first-teamers lining up against each other, the offense needed just three plays to score a touchdown on third-and 1 from its own 34.

QB Ben Roethlisberger took the shotgun snap, and took two steps to his right, searching for an open receiver. He then rolled to his left and hit Cedrick Wilson at the opposing 35. Wilson ran the final 35 yards for an easy TD. Deshea Townsend was the culprit on the play, as he broke toward Roethlisberger when he saw the QB get outside of the pocket.

The second-team offense put itself in field goal range, though some would question why Cowher would kick a field goal on first and goal from the 1 with 4.6 seconds left.

Walter Young was interfered with by Chidi Iwuoma in the end zone on a pass from Charlie Batch to set the ball at the one. Zamir Cobb struggled in the drill, uncharacteristically dropping a pair of passes.

Batch ran the second team offense today, but Cowher said Tommy Maddox will get his opporunity the next time the team runs the drill.

Kendall Simmons had a tough day in the one-on-one blocking drills, getting beaten by both Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel. Barrett Brooks actually looked good winning two out of three battles with Joey Porter.

Brooks, by the way, is lining up at left tackle, while rookie Trai Essex has lined up strictly at right tackle.

Watching rookie linebacker Rian Wallace today, he not only looks a little slow, he also has trouble getting off of blocks. It's not exactly fat, dumb and drunk, but neither of those two things are good for a linebacker.

In the morning practice, which was in the gym and closed to the media, James Harrison apparently hurt his knee, but it is not considered serious. Cowher said Harrison should practice Saturday. Jerome Bettis will get the day off, while Duce Staley is scheduled to return.

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