Tuesday Afternoon Report

<p>LATROBE -- The aftershocks of the Hines Ward eruption on Monday were pushed aside by Coach Bill Cowher, who told reporters that he doesn't mind his players giving their opinions to the media, and that the high number of passes thrown to Ward Tuesday were not a result of Ward telling reporters that he wants the ball more.

Cowher called it a coincidence and that he felt the media blew the story out of proportion.

Ward, who repeated his answers several times on the first go-round with reporters on his way to lunch Monday, stopped and gave the same answers on his way back from lunch, just in case new reporters needed to blow the story out of proportion, too.

An interesting story to watch for tomorrow -- and I apologize for not having any more info -- but Charlie Batch banged his hand towards the end of practice and left the field with the rest of the players with his right hand wrapped. My belief is that Cowher, when he met the press after practice, didn't know that Batch was hurt.

Testiness, parts one and two: Antwaan Randle El flipped the football into Troy Edwards' face after Edwards stopped Randle El during kick return work. The two had words but nothing more. Maybe Edwards doesn't like to see a rookie taking one of his jobs. Also, Jason Gildon became upset with JohnAllred during some blocking drills and tossed him to the ground.

Top catches, parts one, two and three: Ward leaped over Dewayne Washington to make a one-handed touchdown catch from Tommy Maddox during 7 on 7 work. Lenzie Jackson reached behind his back to make a one-handed grab of a Tee Martin pass during the team scrimmage. Lee Mays ran a post pattern and caught a Tee Martin pass for a 38-yard touchdown during the one-minute drill. Mays didn't spike the ball and his teammates egged him on. He said later that he has to work on it because in college he never spiked the ball due to the celebration rule.

Source of info: One of my favorite sources came back from a trip and watched the offensive film of the Jets game.

What did you like?
"Verron Haynes blocked well. Simmons was all right. Not great. All right."

"No, not bad. Mathias played well. Really, the whole second line played well.

Allred played well.
"He runs nice routes."

Is he a lock?
"I wouldn't say he's a lock, but he's in pretty good shape."

What about Lee Mays? Has he hit a wall?
"I haven't watched practice the last couple days, but aside from the fumble he played well in the game. He got open, did some good things."

Anything else?
"Let me give you a guy to watch for the New England game. His name's Deion Branch. He'll be their third receiver. He's good."

-- Jim Wexell

Steel City Insider Top Stories