Steelers OTA Workout No. 12

The Steelers opened their final week of OTA workouts Wednesday. A number of starters were sitting out, but that allowed some youngsters more time.

PITTSBURGH – Santonio Holmes was among the veteran Pittsburgh Steelers not practicing again Wednesday, but the wide receiver said it's no real big deal.

"I've just got some minor bumps and bruises," he said.

Once training camp rolls around at the end of July, Holmes said he expects to be out on the field full-time.

"Guys expect more time off in the offseason, but we've had more time in," said Holmes. "There's been a lot of wear and tear, but now it's time to rest the body a little bit.

"There's no need right now to go out fatigue the body and tear up the hamstrings, quads, ankles, whatever it may be."

Holmes sitting out has meant more reps for some of the younger receivers, particularly second-round pick Limas Sweed, who continues to impress.

"We're looking for a lot of production out of him," said Holmes. "He's just goto stay in the classroom and work on his route running. I think he's going to be OK for us. He's going to help stretch the field and make some big plays for us."

Holmes, a No. 1 pick in 2006, knows the difficulty of making the adjustment to the NFL while being expected to produce as a high draft pick.

"That's one of the toughest things in this organization wanting to come in and compete for a starting job," Holmes said. "That's going to be tough for him. But Hines (Ward) and myself have really picked him up and kept him going through the little mistakes he's made out here. Now, those mistakes out here in the OTA session, let's go to Latrobe come the end of July and let's move forward."

Big Ben among the missing

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was among the veterans not in attendance Wednesday as he represented the current players at the funeral for former defensive lineman Dwight White. Head coach Mike Tomlin also attended the funeral.

Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu – who have also been missing throughout the sessions – were also not there.

In addition to Holmes, also not working were defensive end Brett Keisel and running back Najeh Davenport.

Under his wing

Undrafted rookie defensive lineman Kyle Clement has been working with the second-team and Wednesday got some extra coaching from a good source – Aaron Smith.

Smith worked with the rookie for about 15 minutes after practice on hand placement and coming strong out of his stance.

Clement, from Division II school Northwood, is a player to watch when training camp rolls around.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.

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