LATROBE – As crisp as the Pittsburgh Steelers offense looked during Monday morning's practice, it looked equally as bad in the afternoon session.
There were fumbled snaps and handoffs, offensive linemen going down with groin injuries, off-target passes and head coach Bill Cowher dressing down rookie running backs.
And of course, there were those TV reporters, who weren't paying a lick of attention, who immediately ask Cowher, "Coach, how'd they look today?"
Come on people, pay some freaking attention out there for once.
Had they done that, they would have heard Cowher yelling at his team, imploring: "Somebody hit somebody."
Rookie quarterback Omar Jacobs did just that on the next play, hitting linebacker Richard Seigler right in the stomach with a pass over the middle. So much for that.
Those really paying attention would also have heard him yelling for the two-minute drill to start over after Charlie Batch was intercepted on the first play after Brett Keisel got a paw on a pass that was batted into the air and intercepted by James Harrison.
They should have definitely heard Cowher screaming at rookie running back Cedric Humes, saying, "Come on Cedric, run. I'm sick and tired of seeing two things out of you. First, you try to run everything out here (gesturing outside). Then, you're always looking back to see who's chasing you."
It was that kind of afternoon here at Saint Vincent College.
The offensive lineman who was injured? Actually, there were two, as Chris Kemoeatu apparently hurt his wrist in the morning session and was sent for X-rays this afternoon. Kemoeatu did not practice this afternoon, but tests came back negative for a break.
Trai Essex, on the other hand, will be out seven to 10 days with a pulled groin suffered midway through practice Monday afternoon.
Both injuries are really opening the door for Willie Colon to show off his wares. Colon was lined up at left tackle in drills today as the team is readying him for the grind ahead.
The offense did do one thing right Monday afternoon, winning backs on backers by an 9-8 score. It was mostly pedestrian stuff, though, as Seigler throwing tight end Jon Dekker to the ground and James Harrison jacking up Verron Haynes were the highlights. Harrison did finally lose one, however, as fullback Jon Kuhn stopped him.
Kuhn, however, had one of the fumbles in the 9-on-7 inside running drills. The other two were missed quarterback-center exchanges.
After its early interception during the two-minute drill, the Batch-led offense did move the ball down the field with Nate Washington making a couple of nice grabs and Willie Reid making a diving 20-yard reception being the big plays.
The drill ended with Batch throwing for Washington in the end zone, where Tyrone Carter interfered with him. Cowher said he stopped the drill there because the offense would have had the ball at the one and he didn't want to deal with short-yardage stuff today.
Shane Boyd ran the third-team through its hurry-up drill, moving the team into easy field goal range, most of which came on a screen play to Humes. Humes was caught from behind by safety Anthony Smith at the end of the play and Smith stripped the ball out from behind. But the ball went out of bounds, saving Humes another verbal tongue lashing. Humes banged his left knee on the play, but seemed OK heading off the field.
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.