Steelers Practice Notes

The Steelers are busy putting their final draft preparations in place heading into the biggest weekend of the off-season. But they still found time to practice, affording them a look at their current roster of players, including some new faces. Here are our observations:


* Willie Parker practiced Monday and said he hasn't felt any effects from his broken fibula. He said he feels strong and has his speed back. Parker said the Steelers timed him in the 40 last month at 4.4 seconds. He once ran a 4.28.

* Offensive tackle Jason Capizzi is off to a bad start. He's walking around in a boot because of a stress fracture in his foot. The injury isn't as serious as McBean's. Capizzi could participate in the first minicamp.

* Free-agent acquisition Keyaron Fox wore No. 57 and backed up James Farrior. The 235-pounder's speed was obvious.

* New running back Mewelde Moore is wearing No. 21.

* Quarterback Jared Zabransky, picked up off the street this off-season, is wearing No. 5 and performed with much more spunk than former No. 3 quarterback Brian St. Pierre. Zabransky's passes aren't pretty, but they usually found their mark. On the field he looks like Billy Kilmer without the paunch.

* With Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu sidelined, Anthony Smith and Tyrone Carter are the starting safeties. Polamalu is recovering from minor knee surgery in the off-season. Clark is still recovering from the removal of his spleen and gall bladder.

* Dallas Baker, last year's 6-foot-3 seventh-round wide receiver, was active at practice. After catching several passes from Ben Roethlisberger, he huddled with the quarterback after practice and the two talked "shop" in the hallway.

* Second-year center Darnell Stapleton said his weight is up to 315 and is now looking to lose a few pounds to get in shape.

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