Wednesday Practice Report

LATROBE – It was a who's who of guys missing practice Wednesday morning, as no fewer than seven guys sat out the team's first workout of the day.

Most notable among the missing was linebacker Joey Porter, who not only didn't practice, he wasn't even on the field. Porter could be getting an MRI on the knee he hyperextended Tuesday, but the Steelers' public relations office knew nothing about it and head coach Bill Cowher said he wouldn't address it until after tonight's practice.

Stay tuned.

Also MIA were Antwaan Randle El (hamstring), Deshea Townsend (Achilles), Jerome Bettis (age), Jeff Hartings (age), Lee Mays (hamstring), Travis Kirshke (back) and Walter Young (hamstring).

Young's hamstring problem could cost him a spot on this team. Fred Gibson has really turned it on in the past few days and actually took Randle El's spot with the first-team offense Wednesday.

Gibson's spot was already pretty much assured on the roster, but the fact that he's the same type of receiver as Young, and Young's injury has kept him from reaching his potential, could hurt the big guy when it comes time to cut.

The quarterbacks as a group looked good all the way around Wednesday morning, threading passes where they shouldn't have reached throughout the red zone and team drills.

The defensive backs looked to be in position to make plays several times, but the ball was just so perfectly thrown, they couldn't.

One pass that wasn't perfectly thrown was one by Tommy Maddox, who overthrew Nate Washington down the middle with Bryant McFadden in coverage. McFadden was actually deep in the field than Washington, so much so, it looked as if he were the receiver. The ball went right over the rookie's shoulder, into his hands and onto the field. That's the fourth interception he's dropped in the past two days. It looks like he needs lots of work in that area.


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