Notebook: Buzz about Bruce

Bruce Davis has felt the wrath of Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin all week, and it's paying off of late.

LATROBE – LaMarr Woodley was the star of the first week of Steelers training camp and Lawrence Timmons was the star of Friday's night's raucous practice downtown. But the buzz Saturday was about another linebacker, the rookie third-rounder, Bruce Davis.

Davis, the son and nephew of two NFL players, put the credit elsewhere.

"(Volunteer coach) Kevin Greene really helped me out," Davis said. "He's taught me about violence."


"Coming from the West Coast, we get a lot of passing game out there," Davis explained. "I've been in games where they throw the ball 50, 60 times a game. I really tried to work my finesse out there, but Kevin, you know, he's one of the best bull-rushers ever, and he just taught me to go in there and be violent with them and that will open up the finesse game I've had for my whole career."

Davis admits he needs to work on his strength, and that he has been his entire career. But he's now learning about another weakness: pass coverage. Davis, like so many Steelers outside linebackers through the years, was a defensive end in college.

"Covering is a little new to me," he said. "But I ask as many questions as I can. I pick James Harrison's brain, Coach (Keith) Butler's. No stupid questions around here. James has been very helpful to me."

While Davis was talking, a sea of fans, at the most heavily attended St. Vincent practice of the season, called out his name.

"I'm loving it," he said. "Hopefully I don't ever have to leave this place. Just look around at all these fans. And it's safe to say that the Steelers' linebacker tradition is the best ever. I'm glad to be a part of it. I've got big shoes to fill around here, but I'm ready for that challenge."


The Steelers re-signed rookie offensive lineman Doug Legursky and released rookie placekicker Julian Rauch.

Legursky, a highly decorated center at Marshall University, was released by the Steelers on June 29 because the team had three centers already on the roster. But "Bronko," who's also nicknamed "The Big" Legursky by Pittsburgh reporters, has been recalled. The 6-1, 323-pounder was a three-time All-Conference USA slection.


Ben Roethlisberger practiced in all but the team scrimmage, which he missed because a slight groin injury. LaMarr Woodley, who was held out of backs-on-backers Friday night, also has a groin injury and is day to day. In his place was James Harrison as Timmons moved over to right outside linebacker. Timmons only played the position for three snaps, and on two of them the Steelers' offense ran successfully at him. Tomlin was asked if those plays were called for Timmons' benefit.

"It's a possibility, yes," Timmons said with a smile.

Rookie tight end Dezmond Sherrod is out with a neck injury after being run over by Timmons in the back-on-backers drill Friday.

Continuing to sit out are Anthony Smith (groin), Mike Humpal (hamstring) and Santonio Holmes (death in the family).


Tomlin: "I think this team is in great shape and that's allowed us to get off to a great start. We've got a ways to go with some technical things, as does everybody. I've been pleased with our play-action pass pocket. It's better than it was a year ago at this point. Defensively we've got some young guys that are showing they're going to be contributors eventually. Of course, they have to step inside stadiums and confirm that, but what we've seen to this point is we've got some young guys that we can add to what we believe is already a good defense."

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