... linebacker Joey Porter's return to the football field for the first time in pads since his offseason knee surgery.
Porter worked only in the team seven-on-seven passing drills,
sometimes simulating a
pass rush, other times dropping back into coverage.
The Pro Bowl linebacker looked good dropping back and made some nice
cuts. He seems
to be on schedule to return to full practice, maybe as early as next
Other good news included head coach Bill Cowher informing the throng
of media in
attendance that center Chukky Okobi's injury isn't as serious as
initially thought. Okobi
had surgery Wednesday morning and will only be out four to eight
weeks. The initial
prognosis had been the season and maybe a career-ending injury.
Hines Ward continued to sit out with his sore left hamstring and was
joined by Issac West
(bone bruise), tackle Trai Essex (groin) and fullback Branden Joe.
Joe was a new addition to
the injury list. He's out with a hamstring pull.
Guard Kendall Simmons took some snaps at center with Charlie Batch
before practice, but
head coach Bill Cowher said that it was solely in case of a rainy
Center Tim Brown worked at left guard with the second team line in
place of Essex, while
Willie Colon slid back over to right tackle today as the team worked
on some different
things to prepare for its game Saturday at Arizona. Barrett Brooks
was at left tackle.
Tyrone Carter was the starting free safety with the first-team
defense, while the second-
team defensive line consisted of Rodney Bailey, Shaun Nua and Chris Hoke. Where Travis Kirschke fits into the equation remains to be seen.
The hit of the day belonged to linebacker James Harrison (who else?).
covering a slot receiver against the scout team and blitzed, running
running back Cedric Humes, who was knocked to his back.
Humes, however, seems to be running harder since his tongue lashing
by Cowher earlier
Cedrick Wilson made a nice down the field catch from Ben Roethlisberger on a go route
against Chidi Iwuoma and Zach Baker. It was a perfectly timed throw
Rookie Santonio Holmes is still plagued by an occasional drop, but
had a nice leaping
catch from Charlie Batch along the sideline.
Not to be outdone, rookie Willie Reid, who has, by my unofficial
count, failed to drop a
pass this entire camp, made a beautiful leaping catch of an
underthrown pass from Omar Jacobs working against Ike Taylor. Reid's a keeper.
Holmes made a nice touchdown catch in red zone drills against Iwuoma,
the corner to pull down a Batch pass.
Jacobs showed that even he couldn't miss on a receiver this open as
he hit Sean Morey
over the middle working against the first-team defense. The entire
defense seemed to bite
Shane Boyd threw the only pick in the practice moments later,
hitting linebacker Clint
Kreiwaldt in the stomach at the goal line. The pass was so errant it
was hard to figure out
who it was to.
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter
Practice report, Aug. 9
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