Aug. 11, A.M. practice report

He's not a rookie, so there wasn't the usual constant mishaps for Byron Leftwich as he went through his first practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday.

He's not a rookie, so there wasn't the usual constant mishaps for Byron Leftwich as he went through his first practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday.

But Leftwich – who was signed Sunday – showed he does still have a lot of work to do this week at Saint Vincent College if he's going to play quarterback in the Steelers' preseason game Thursdat against Buffalo in Toronto.

Leftwich's much-publicized throwing motion is long, but he's obviously been working on it. He only had a couple of throws Monday morning where he looked like he was winding up to throw a 90-mph fastball instead of a football.

In fact, the Steelers could have Leftwich work with rookie Dennis Dixon, who looks like he's throwing a dart. One's motion is too long, the other has one that is too short. There has to be a happy medium.

The Steelers worked hard on their red zone offense this morning, throwing Leftwich right in there as the No. 2 guy behind Ben Roethlisberger.

On his first play of red zone, Leftwich hit rookie wide receiver Limas Sweed right in the hands with a pass in the right front corner of the end zone. Sweed, who was wide open, dropped the ball.

He couldn't connect with Dallas Baker on a quick slant on his second throw, but did fire a TD to tight end Jonathan Dekker on his third pass.

Every one of the balls was thrown with pretty much the same velocity - fast. And perhaps therein has been the problem with Leftwich.

He admitted Monday after practice that he attempts to make up for his slow release of the ball by firing it in there.

Leftwich did show nice touch on a couple of passes to running backs out the backfield, but for the most part, his passes were thrown very hard. It's going to take the receivers a few practices to adjust to that.

Rookie safety Ryan Mundy was in a walking boot to protect his left shin, which was injured in Friday's preseason win over Philadelphia.

A number of veterans also sat out practice, as did tight end Cody Boyd, who has a shoulder problem, and rookie defensive end Kyle Clement, who has a right knee problem.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


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