Steelers Show Aggressiveness Early

<p>The Steelers' offense showed off their new white uniforms -- and some trash-talking -- throughout the day, but as expected the defense took advantage of the O's first-day timing problems. The defense stuffed the offense in team drills. The highlighted hit was Aaron Smith popping Jerome Bettis in the hole on a stunt on the second play of the scrimmage.

The passing game had little time to get untracked due to the lack of timing along the offensive line. One player who stood out, in a bad way, was new tight end John Allred, who dropped three passes.

The Steelers opened with new one-on-one drills that resulted in too much down time for too many players. It's certainly something they'll have to consider dropping in my opinion.

During the second phase of practice, the team divided, as usual, into one-on-one line drills and seven-on-seven passing drills. I watched the line drills just because of Kendall Simmons, who got beat by Chris Combs on the first encounter. In Simmons' only other play of the session, he showed plenty of that so-called nastiness that's been advertised in holding off Rameel Connor. Nastiness, in this case, meant a high level of spirit and footwork, and the kind of grunting that brought tennis player Monica Seles to mind. We'll be watching this drill more closely throughout the ensuing weeks.

Other notables in the line drills: Chukky Okobi was whipped soundly by Casey Hampton and Kendrick Clancy, who also beat Keydrick Vincent; Kimo von Oelhoffen looked very sharp against Wayne Gandy; Chris Hoke was also very impressive, but against Matt Anderson and fourth center McAllister Collins. Waiting for Hoke to go against Okobi or Hartings.

In the seven-on-seven passing drill, Dale Lolley reports that Antwaan Randle El made two deep catches and obviously has the crowd in his corner. On one catch, Randle El adjusted to the ball in mid-air, flashing natural receiving skills. During team drills though, timeout had to be called once again when Randle El lined up in the wrong spot. Another highlight of seven-on-seven was the engagement of Bettis and Kendrell Bell on a pass route. They locked up and Bettis spun out to make the catch before mugging for the cheering crowd.

Injury report: Mark Bruener remains on the PUP list and rookie Pernell Griffin is still out with a hamstring.

Quote from Cowher on the new white practice uniforms: "It's going to take some getting-used to. I think since the situation with the heat we've had to get away from the black jerseys and Mr. Rooney OK'd it."

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