Morning practice report, Aug. 4

After a verbal dressing down following Thursday's practice session, the Steelers offense kicked things into high gear Friday morning showing that maybe it is starting to catch up to the defense one week into training camp.

LATROBE – Feeling refreshed after sleeping in my own bed instead of the rock-one here at St. Vincent College last night, I must be in a much better frame of mind.

Either way, I have decided to make this morning's inside look into practice available to all of the masses. Enjoy.

After being called out Thursday by head coach Bill Cowher, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense came out smoking this morning.

Earlier in the week when the team was working on red zone plays, it was laughable how tough a time the offense had scoring touchdowns.

That was not the case this morning as every quarterback looked like the second coming of Sammy Baugh.

Ben Roethlisberger got the drill started by throwing a nice ball to Cedrick Wilson, who dove to make a catch in the end zone against Bryant McFadden. McFadden had decent coverage on the play, but Roethlisberger put the ball in a place that only Wilson could come up with it.

Wilson made a couple of nice grabs in the drill, even though that was his lone score.

Roethlisberger followed that up on the next play by connecting with Nate Washington for a score in the back of the end zone on another perfect throw.

After an incompletion, during which Hines Ward looked to slightly tweak his right knee, Ward showed no ill effects from the play by going over the middle to make a TD grab in traffic.

That was four passes that resulted in three touchdowns for Roethlisberger.

Charlie Batch took his shot next and was equally impressive connecting with rookie Santonio Holmes, who got free from Tyrone Carter.

Batch then threw a couple of shorter passes for completions before giving way to Shayne Boyd.

Boyd was the only quarterback who didn't put points on the board, but that wasn't necessarily his fault.

He threw a perfect pass right in front of the goal posts to rookie tight end Jon Dekker. But Dekker inexplicably dropped the pass.

Again, Boyd then threw a couple of shorter balls and gave way to Omar Jacobs.

On his first play, Jacobs displayed perfect touch on a throw to Quincy Morgan, throwing the ball right to the back pylon, just over the defense. Morgan easily settled under the ball for a touchdown.

Jacobs has really looked good throwing the ball in this camp, but I'm waiting to see how he looks against a defense that's trying to get after him next week in Arizona.

A couple of plays later, Batch returned and threw a nice pass to Willie Parker in the right flats that Parker also scored on.

Ricardo Colclough again struggled returning kicks dropping at least three by my count, continuing his camp-long trend. Maybe it's because he sees the writing on the wall that he's not going to be handling those duties. Whatever the reason, Colclough has looked disinterested when back there.

Willie Reid, on the other hand, looks like he came out of the womb fielding punts and kickoffs. To my knowledge, he hasn't muffed one yet during this camp.

Eugene Baker and Mike Kudla continue to lead the group of walking wounded, with no sign of returning anytime soon from their hamstring injuries. Linebacker James Farrior sat out with an ice pack on his lower back, while corner Deshea Townsend and defensive lineman Travis Kirshke were also out.

Linebacker Joey Porter looks like he's just about ready to return. Friday morning, Porter was running the hill here by the St. Vincent practice field under the watchful eye of trainer John Norwig.

I hope you enjoyed your free look into the morning session. It was one of those glass is half-full, half-empty kind of sessions. When the offense is looking bad, maybe it's because the defense is playing so well. When it's looking good, maybe it's because the defense had an off day.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter


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