Steelers OTA Workout No. 8

The Steelers went past their halfway point of the spring on Thursday. Mewelde Moore continues to impress, while a 14-year-old scored late. After practice, the Steelers worked out a couple of local stars.

Such an interesting practice, so let's take it in chronological order.

First of all, the Catch of the Day was made early by running back Mewelde Moore in red zone work. He slipped out of the backfield and had to spin back at the front pylon to catch Ben Roethlisberger's pass. Moore has been a great addition. He looks so much like Kevin Faulk that I wonder if Kevin Colbert has been taping walk-throughs. Just kidding.

Anyway, a couple of plays later, Dallas Baker snagged a high pass on the run in the back of the end zone from Charlie Batch for first runner-up. The 6-foot-3 Baker continues his fine second spring.

In the next phase of work, the 7-on-7 passing drill, Roethlisberger started exactly as he had the previous day's session: with an interception to a linebacker. This time it was Keyaron Fox who made the pick. Other plays of note: Jeremy Bloom dove to catch a deep out from Charlie Batch and Lawrence Timmons intercepted a Jared Zabransky checkdown for an interception.

The team scrimmage was more run-oriented. Gary Russell looked like a speedy truck taking a handoff up the middle and then bouncing it outside. His added 10 pounds are going to help and it doesn't appear as if he's lost any speed. Speaking of runaway big men, Limas Sweed took a wide receiver screen in a play I hope to see again and again.

There was a bit – a bit, now – of a scare when Roethlisberger came out of a fumbled snap shaking his hand in pain. Good thing the TV stations were all parked at Mellon Arena, but Ben came back the next play with a beautiful deep ball to Willie Reid. It was broken up at the last second by undrafted rookie Travis Williams. That kid – from East Carolina – keeps coming up in these spring reports. He might be someone to keep an eye on.

On the next and final play, Roethlisberger faked a handoff to fullback Carey Davis and instead handed the ball to 14-year-old Akeem Havens on a draw. Havens went for a touchdown as the team cheered the boy to end practice on an up note.

After practice, the Steelers worked out California University (Division II) punter Jace Amore and Waynesburg University (Division III) defensive end Mike Czerwien.

Czerwien is a 5-foot-8, 225-pounder who led all NCAA divisions last season with 23 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss. The North Hills High School graduate set an NCAA all-division record with a career total of 53.5 sacks at Waynesburg. Czerwien was the Presidents Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season and was named first-team all-conference for the fourth time.

Amore, from Elizabeth-Forward High School, averaged 40.1 yards per punt and was named to the PSAC West first team last season. He kicked at Cal for two seasons after transferring from Temple.


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