Steelers OTA Workout No. 7

The Pittsburgh Steelers will conduct 14 Organized Team Activities this spring. Their seventh workout was completed Wednesday. Here are the details:

Lawrence Timmons worked once again with the second team as the Mack inside linebacker Wednesday, and on one rep was joined by Larry Foote.

So Timmons, thinking he was being replaced at the Mack, began to run off the field, but the coaches said, "no, no, no" and Timmons stayed put, right at the line, and had no option but to blitz. He blew up the draw play. In fact, he could've intercepted the handoff.

Timmons said after practice that Foote at the time was getting work as the second-team Buck inside backer (James Farrior's position).

Timmons said his only work with the first team this spring has been in the dime defense. He said he's part of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's new wrinkle: two inside linebackers – Timmons and Farrior – on the field in the dime.

"It looks like last year's nickel, but it's a little different," Timmons said.

PRACTICE NOTES

* I put my eyeballs on third-team left tackle Tony Hills for two plays. On the first play his feet seemed slow. On the second play, outside backer James Harrison gained leverage quickly, got under and then around Hills, and had an easy sack. Welcome to the big time, rook.

* Mewelde Moore worked with the punt returners yesterday. In order, they were Willie Reid, Moore, Santonio Holmes, Kevin Marion, Jeremy Bloom and Travis Williams.

* Missing Wednesday's practice was Casey Hampton. Sidelined were Deshea Townsend, Kendall Simmons and Aaron Smith. Smith continues to work after practice on the sled and blocking bags. He uses his arms (with authority) and says he's not having trouble with his repaired bicep, but is being cautious anyway. He said he'll probably be 100 percent for training camp, but will likely be "babied" by the coaches and trainers.

* Willie Colon remains at right tackle with Darnell Stapleton replacing Simmons at right guard.

* The no-huddle offense included plenty of zippy short stuff to Holmes and Heath Miller. Ben Roethlisberger was picked off by James Farrior on a tipped pass. On the first play of 7-on-7 passing, Ben was picked off by Larry Foote. The QB was looking for Matt Spaeth over the middle and didn't see Foote dropping into the throwing lane.

* Limas Sweed dropped a pass from rookie QB Mike Potts that was behind him. Sweed made up for it by making the Catch of the Day on a deep over-the-shoulder ball from Charlie Batch. It wasn't so much that the catch was great but the pass was perfect. Still, the hard-working rookie gets the prestigious award.

* Anthony Smith continues to work as the backup strong safety behind Tyrone Carter. Grant Mason was the second-team free safety behind Ryan Clark.

* Rashard Mendenhall saw his first snaps from scrimmage since injuring his hamstring at minicamp. He went in motion a few times in two-back sets with Moore, but didn't have a pass thrown his way.

LET IT SNOW

While talking with reporters after practice, Sweed coughed several times and said he was developing a cold. The Texan was asked if the brisk weather was too chilly.

"No," he said. "I like it out here. I'd like to see snow, too. I've never seen real, real snow, just little sprinkles in Texas; nothing like these guys say it is up here. I'm curious to see what it's like. I want to play football in the snow. I'm ready for it."

Sweed was asked if the coaches are emphasizing blocking with him.

"To be honest with you they emphasize everything, whether it's paying attention when I'm [on the sideline], or running routes, or blocking. To me, there's an emphasis on everything."

Had he ever worked so much on special teams?

"Never," Sweed said. "I never did special teams in my life until I came here, so I stay after with the special teams coach. Actually I like it."

Do they see him as a special-teamer?

"Certain areas," he said. "Coach says he likes me coming off the edge, with speed, blocking punts. He said that's something I can do with my long arms and great speed, so that's something I'm definitely looking into. It's fun to me. All you've got to do is beat a guy around the corner and block the punt."

TICKETS ON SALE

A limited number of individual game tickets for the Steelers 2008 home games are available through Ticketmaster beginning on Saturday, June 21, at noon. This marks the second consecutive season fans will be able to purchase the tickets through Ticketmaster.

Fans may buy up to four tickets total for the eight regular-season games while there is no limit for the two preseason home contests. A majority of the tickets will be priced at either $59 or $62. However, there will be single seats available at prices ranging from $59-$240.

Tickets will be sold either on www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 412-323-1919. American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover will be accepted by Ticketmaster. Tickets will not be sold at Ticketmaster outlets.


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