Aug. 20 practice report

Lolley: Roethlisberger injury doesn't appear serious, but the team isn't talking.

There was nearly $175 million in players involved when outside linebacker James Harrison drove left tackle Max Starks into the back of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's right ankle in the final practice of training camp here at Saint Vincent College.

It was a moment that sent reporters and Pittsburgh Steelers trainers scrambling.

Roethlisberger usually milks the slightest injury for all its worth, but this one could have been very serious.

The incident occured during red zone drills as the team wrapped up what was a very uninspired workout.

Roethlisberger dropped back to pass and just after he released the ball, Harrison bull rushed Starks back into the pocket, right at the QB's back foot.

Roethlisberger immediately went down and grabbed for the foot, then scrambled to away from the line of scrimmage on the ground before laying down again where he was worked on by team trainers.

After about five minutes, he was helped to his feet and walked gingerly over to a water bucket where he sat for a while before being forced to move as team drills continued.

Finally, after icing the ankle for about 20 minutes, Roethlisberger hobbled over to team president Art Rooney II before leaving the field without speaking to reporters on a golf cart.

© As for the rest of practice, it was, well, uninspiring.

The team obviously knew this was its final practice here at Saint Vincent College and the workout had the feel of a walkthrough more than anything.

I did watch backup QB Dennis Dixon intently and noticed that he does still have a tendency to stare down receivers.

This could be one reason why he throws so many picks in practice. Ike Taylor got him twice Thursday, once off a deflection and another off a ball in which Taylor stepped up in front of a slant.

© Hines Ward got another veteran day off, but he did have ice on his left knee.

Chris Kemoeatu was also out, with Doug Legursky replacing him at left guard. Kemoeatu didn't have any apparent injury, however.

Those two were joined on the sidelines by guard Darnell Stapleton, running backs Mewelde Moore and Frank Summers, and tight end Sean McHugh.

© Rashard Mendenhall showed off his nice hands after beating linebacker Andy Schantz down the sideline in red zone. Mendenhall made a nice over-the-shoulder catch from Dixon and could be a nice addition to that part of the game.

© Rookie Joe Burnett continues to work as the second-team nickel back, with Deshea Townsend and Keiwan Ratliff on the outside.

Defensive backs coach Ray Horton is always talking to the rookie and coaching him up.

© The team tried a halfback option pass with Justin Vincent throwing the ball to tight end Dezmond Sherrod. They were on the look team, but it wasn't pretty.

Ryan Mundy sniffed the play out and intercepted the wobbly pass after it deflected out of Sherrod's hands.

Sherrod, however, got a lot of kudos for his practice. I heard more than one coach shouting, "Good job, Bulldog," which is Sherrod's nickname.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


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