Tuesday Camp Report ( afternoon ) 7/30/02

<p>LATROBE -- Kendrell Bell missed most of Tuesday's lone practice after straining a trapezius muscle while lifting weights in the morning. Bell expects to return to the field Wednesday morning at St. Vincent College or Wednesday night at Latrobe Stadium.</p>

Mike Logan, Dallas Davis and Pernell Griffin rested injured hamstrings on the sideline, but Coach Bill Cowher reported that Griffin will be activated off the PUP list and return Wednesday and that Logan's injury isn't as bad as initially feared.

In other injury news, tight end Mark Bruener put the pads on and practiced for the first time since injuring his left shoulder last November. Bruener was placed on the PUP list last week after injuring his right foot jogging, but reported no after effects from either injury following Tuesday's practice.

At Heinz Field on Tuesday, kickers Todd Peterson and Joe O'Donnell reported a successful hour and 15 minutes of practice. Cowher said that he was impressed the kickers did not leave Heinz Field and head straight to the airport. Cowher was also given a good report on the kickers from special teams coach Kevin Spencer. The conditions were windy, but Peterson stressed that wind in July at 80 degrees on a pristine surface will be different than kicking in wind in December at 40 degrees on a worn surface. But Peterson felt the trip was beneficial because it allowed him to begin learning some of the nuances of the stadium. He plans on kicking there once a week during the regular season. "During the bye week, I'll probably live down there," he said.

Back in Latrobe, the information's beginning to trickle in on the longshot candidates. The word is that rookie free agents Erik Totten and James Harrison have outside chances to make the team. Totten filled in at free safety on the second team in place of Logan, and Harrison is playing behind second-team OLB Justin Kurpeikis.

Rookie Larry Foote replaced Bell at the Mac inside backer spot, with Clark Haggans replacing Bell in the dime defense.

During individual drills, Jerome Bettis and Joey Porter had a minor tiff and began barking at each other, pleasing Cowher, who said: "We need more of that."

In the team passing drills, Antwaan Randle El beat John Fiala deep and hauled in Charlie Batch's pass to the delight of the crowd. Randle El is receiving more attention from the crowd than even Joey Getherall did last year; but if El's being covered by Fiala deep, the defensive coordinator has some chalkboard work to do tonight.

In the line drills, the most impressive (or depressing if you look at it from the other side) moment came when Kendrick Clancy RAN OVER center Jeff Hartings. Now, before anyone gets nervous, Hartings has had some bad moments in the line drills the last two years. As The Who once said - I can't explain. In team drills, Batch was the second quarterback in the rotation, but it was only his turn in the rotation for the second-team race. Tee Martin threw a screen pass right into the chest of Kurpeikis, who dropped it. Martin seems as if he's very distracted.

One of the big hits of team drills was put on blitzing safety Chris Hope by center Chukky Okobi, who lifted Hope and slammed him to the ground. The one-minute drill became the 84-second drill with Martin starting with the first team. He couldn't get the unit past midfield. Batch directed the second team down the field before the horn was blown with 14 seconds left on the clock.

Said Cowher: "I decided to kick a field goal at that point as opposed to running another play. I learned from yesterday."

Was the phantom field goal made? "It's always a made field goal. That's why we stretched. We won the game. We were down by two. Didn't you know that?"

--Jim Wexell

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