LATROBE -- The mob that gathered around Hank Poteat after Thursday's practice was an indication that there isn't much news swirling around the Steelers these days."> LATROBE -- The mob that gathered around Hank Poteat after Thursday's practice was an indication that there isn't much news swirling around the Steelers these days.">

Tuesday Afternoon Report

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:5.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:5.0pt; margin-left:0in;mso-pagination:none;mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace: none">LATROBE -- The mob that gathered around Hank Poteat after Thursday's practice was an indication that there isn't much news swirling around the Steelers these days.

Poteat blasted tight end Matt Cushing after one incomplete pass and intercepted a tipped pass. That's apparently enough for the media, but then again it was another solid showing in an outstanding camp for Poteat, the third-year cornerback who's fitting nicely into the dime defense in place of the departed Jason Simmons.

Cornerback Nijrel Eason had a decent day. The Merton Hanks look-alike broke up a third-down red zone pass intended for Terrance Mathis and also intercepted a Tommy Maddox pass. Eason is still a longshot. Free safety Erik Totten, though, has a chance to make the team and continued his fine play Tuesday by forcing a Mathis fumble at the one-yard line during red zone work.

Verron Haynes is said to be hitting the proverbial rookie wall, but he hauled in two nice -- albeit juggling -- touchdown passes during red zone work. Speaking of the red zone, wide receiver Plaxico Burress missed practice again with his groin injury. Coach Bill Cowher expects him back for Wednesday's walk-through and expects him to play Thursday night.

And, speaking of Cowher, he ripped into a ballboy for moving the chains earlier than he should have during the one-minute drill. The ballboy was right, however, but not in the coach's eyes. The one-minute drill was run by the second teams only and ended when Payton Williams broke up a fourth-down pass for Lee Mays.

--Jim Wexell


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