Saturday Practice Report

LATROBE – The Steelers wrapped up their first week of practice here at St. Vincent College with their first goal-line drill.

As it had done Friday afternoon in the hurry-up drill, the offense again dominated.

Verron Haynes needed just two carries to punch one into the end zone from five yards out, running behind guard Alan Faneca on second down from the four to score.

Willie Parker needed just one carry to scoot around left end for a five-yard score with the backup units on the field, displaying his outstanding speed.

On the bad news front, though Duce Staley returned to practice today, his time was limited and head coach Bill Cowher said Staley will have an MRI Sunday to determine if there is anything wrong structurally with his knee.

Jerome Bettis took the day off as planned, though offensive line coach Russ Grimm did sneak a cardboard cutout of Bettis onto the field during the stretching session, placing it in Bettis spot in the line, much to the amusement of his teammates.

Rian Wallace was kneed in the head on a punt return by wide receiver Zamir Cobb, who got up flexing his knee. Wallace was down for several minutes, but resumed practice.

"He knew he was in Latrobe, but that was about it," Cowher quipped.

Watching the pass rush drills today, I determined that Arnold Harrison had better bring something to the table other than pass rush skills, because he doesn't have any of those. Guys were jumping in line to stone him and get something good on film. Barrett Brooks very nearly killed Harrison on one play, riding him to the ground and then jumping on his back for good measure. Ouch.

Interestingly enough, Alonzo Jackson has been strangely absent from the pass rush drills for the most part, instead taking part in the seven-on-seven drills on the other field. The team must want him to work on dropping into coverage more. I guess they're still trying to figure out if there's anything he can do well.

Tight end Walter Rasby and rookie linebacker Andre Frazier got into a scrap during a one-on-one run-blocking drill, with the two exchanging a couple of shots before Frazier got underneath Rasby, picked him up and put him on his back. A perfect double-leg takedown for the former basketball star.

Frazier had a pretty good day rushing the passer today, but was stoned by Max Starks on his final attempt. He still needs to get stronger.

Ben Roethlisberger had a nice pass to Antwaan Randle El for a touchdown in the first play of red zone. Randle El had no problem beating safety Janssen Patten on the play in the front of the end zone.

Later, Tommy Maddox threw a beautiful pass to Cedrick Wilson in the back corner that Wilson caught over his outside shoulder working against Willie Williams.

Fred Gibson also had a nice grab in the end zone during seven-on-seven drills, but still hasn't flashed much yet.

James Harrison was back in practice today after tweaking his knee Friday morning. He did have a brace on the knee, though.


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