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View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: It happened one night -- Ben looking sharp...and other news



BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2007, 07:13 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07209/805168-66.stm


By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Coach Mike Tomlin abandoned the live goal-line drill that for years traditionally ended a Steelers night training camp practice, only he forgot to tell that to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger treated the goal line as his personal playground, throwing consecutive touchdown passes and adding a third in 11 on 11 to the delight of the estimated 12,000 fans who turned out last night at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.

The quarterback looked in top form as he rifled a 15-yard pass in the left front of the end zone to Cedrick Wilson, who held on after a big hit from safety Tyrone Carter. Next, Roethlisberger showed perfect touch on a 15-yard lob pass to tight end Heath Miller, who stretched his 6-foot-5 frame just enough in the right back corner of the end zone for the score.

Although Roethlisberger did throw one misguided pass on a rollout that safety Anthony Smith dropped in the end zone, the quarterback came back and pitched a 35-yard touchdown to Nate Washington.

"I was real pleased,'' said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "He knows what he's doing right now."


Well-deserved breather
Tomlin eased up on his team for the first time.

He extended their curfew last night after practice and canceled this morning's scheduled 90-minute practice at Saint Vincent College.

Although the players still must attend meetings this morning, it's the first time they will not have two daily practices since their first Tuesday morning. They will have a two-hour practice starting at 2:55 p.m. that is open to the public.

"It's good to throw the guys a bone now and then," Tomlin said.


Timmons a spectator

No. 1 draft pick Lawrence Timmons wasn't involved in last night's practice. After reinjuring his groin on Thursday, Timmons watched morning special teams practice for 10 minutes and then left the field when quarterbacks and the offensive line were dismissed.

Timmons is expected to play on several special teams as a rookie but things are not off to a good start.


Two, but not tough

There are two-a-day practices, and then there are two-a-days and not all are the same. That first coach Tomlin held on the first morning of camp, Tuesday, was a real practice, two hours long and plenty of hitting.

Then there was yesterday's one-hour drill. It was all special teams, no hitting -- unless you count the number of times players tried to knock down a volleyball as they "rushed" the punter.

Ten minutes into the morning practice, the entire offensive line and the four quarterbacks were dismissed, along with Hines Ward and Timmons. They walked back into the dorm with two coaches, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and line coach Larry Zierlein.

Thirty minutes later, the defensive line departed.


Block that kick?

Watching special teams practices in the morning -- unfortunately, not open to the public -- is like watching a three-ring circus. Over here, players are running and batting volleyballs as if they are saving a punted football from bouncing into the end zone. Over there, more volleyballs are being pooch punted as players try to block them.

The former regime rarely tried to block kicks and maybe this one won't either, but they're certainly putting a lot of practice time into it.

There's also the football-on-a-stick. Think banana-on-a-stick, only the stick is about 3 feet long and the football is not covered in chocolate. It's not exactly high-tech; the coaches use it to signal the snap from center -- they hold the stick, put the ball on the ground and yank it up on the snap.

Don't forget the skinny posts. That's what they call a certain route run by receivers down the middle.

Now they are literally using skinny posts in practice -- goal posts about half the width of normal ones so kickers, I suppose, can get used to kicking through tighter quarters.

The other day, they went to the mattresses -- not like La Cosa Nostra -- using big foam rubber things as a soft landing ground for players trying to extend their bodies to block a punt. No bedsprings involved and no bedposts.


Holmes still out

Santonio Holmes again did not practice. Holmes, who might practice soon, had a non-football "procedure" before camp started.

Haynes comes back

Halfback Verron Haynes practiced for the first time last night after the Steelers withdrew him from the physically unable to perform list.

Haynes must fight to reclaim his spot on the team as a third-down back and backup halfback.

The competition is keen for Haynes with Najeh Davenport, Kevan Barlow, John Kuhn and a couple of other free agent backs in camp.

Haynes blew out his left knee -- virtually every ligament in it -- last November and made a miracle comeback to practice in the spring. Such injuries normally take at least a year to heal.

"I wasn't even supposed to be practicing until November," Haynes said.

"They don't want the setbacks to occur. So right now since I'm ahead of schedule, they want to keep it that way, monitor everything. Coach talked to me: It's a long preseason. We're just going to monitor it day by day."

Haynes has been running this week.
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This is so great to see Ben playing well and looking focused in camp. I'm anxious to see if he continues to impress and get better as camp goes on and into preseason. He's taken this offseason seriously and it shows so far in camp.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-28-2007, 09:48 AM
Dude plus Ben is heading into his 4th year...........With him refocused and starting to put the work in to be great...............I think its going to be a very special season for Ben...I just wish Holmes would get his *** in there....So Ben and him can get on the same page.......

steelersgal86
07-28-2007, 11:35 AM
This is really good to hear..I think Ben is going to have a great year...I cannot wait...:tt02::tt02:

Prosdo
07-28-2007, 12:23 PM
Sounds like Ben is going to make a big comeback this year. All the article I read he seems very determined.

introyitrust
07-28-2007, 12:27 PM
Definitely good to hear about Ben.
Now hopefully Holmes gets clearance from his doctor to return to camp in the coming days and continues to develop.

Stairwayto7
07-28-2007, 12:58 PM
Ben Goes, the Steelers Go! Here We Go Steelers! Here We Go!

manofsteel
07-28-2007, 01:23 PM
Ben is looking just fine. We really need Holmes to get it in gear. And I would really like to see TImmons getting involved. Especially before Woodley comes in and eats his lunch

AZ_Steeler
07-28-2007, 05:40 PM
Next weekend we will finally get our first taste and see where the team is and how the newbies are going to be!

:woot: :cope:

SteelerSteve
07-28-2007, 05:57 PM
Peyton and Marino, look out! Ben is coming for your records, and I dont mean your playoff records:lol: Maybe 6,000 yds. 50+ td's, hey it could happen:tt02::tt02::tt02:

BB2W
07-28-2007, 06:12 PM
Good to hear, but we all know Ben can look great one moment and really bad the next. We need him to be much more consistant.

At times last season during his worst games it seemed like he only threw a few bad passes... but they all went for interceptions. His poor decision making and inaccurate passes really hurt us last year.

I hope last season was just a bump in the road and he continues to improve...

SteelerSteve
07-28-2007, 06:17 PM
Good to hear, but we all know Ben can look great one moment and really bad the next. We need him to be much more consistant.

At times last season during his worst games it seemed like he only threw a few bad passes... but they all went for interceptions. His poor decision making and inaccurate passes really hurt us last year.

I hope last season was just a bump in the road and he continues to improve...last season was actually a few big bumps to the head:lol: And its pretty easy to look inconsistent when once you finally start to get into a rythm then you get a concussion or layed the hell out by the ratbirds. All he has to do is stay healthy and he's a top 5, if not a top 3 qb:2cents: This season should be a better year because if he's been studying film and working on reading defenses he should be able to make quik reads and get the ball out of there in time, resulting in fewer sacks.

K Train
07-28-2007, 06:28 PM
bens got alot of work to do to be a top 3 lol, i do think he will have a breakout season though....

SteelerSteve
07-28-2007, 06:40 PM
bens got alot of work to do to be a top 3 lol, i do think he will have a breakout season though.... Name 3 qb's that were better than him in his first 2 seasons. I think Peyton and Brady were really the only ones who were better, judging by QB ratings and Superbowls. Since he has been Playing there have only been 3 qb's to win a superbowl, including ben.:2cents:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2007, 07:13 PM
We have a chance to see something special out of a Steelers QB; the likes of which the league hasn't seen since Bradshaw. Ben set all kinds of records in his first 2 years but now he's poised to take huge step forward into a whole new level of success if he continues on this positive track so far.

K Train
07-28-2007, 07:17 PM
Name 3 qb's that were better than him in his first 2 seasons. I think Peyton and Brady were really the only ones who were better, judging by QB ratings and Superbowls. Since he has been Playing there have only been 3 qb's to win a superbowl, including ben.:2cents:

he had alot of success no doubt but he wasnt exactly lighting up the sky, the 04 and 05 steelers just played to good together.....they were a well oiled machine, any QB could ride that running game and defense to vicory, even though they couldnt duplicated the poise he showed in clutch situations.....which was what made him good his first 2 years, he didnt have to do much but what he needed to do he did well...this is his breakout year imo

Black@Gold Forever32
07-28-2007, 07:21 PM
he had alot of success no doubt but he wasnt exactly lighting up the sky, the 04 and 05 steelers just played to good together.....they were a well oiled machine, any QB could ride that running game and defense to vicory, even though they couldnt duplicated the poise he showed in clutch situations.....which was what made him good his first 2 years, he didnt have to do much but what he needed to do he did well...this is his breakout year imo

Ok retract that statement.....Not any QB could lead that team to a 15-1 record in 2004 and a Super Bowl title in 2005....Train you honestly don't think Tommy Maddox would have do you?:lol:

K Train
07-28-2007, 07:29 PM
Ok retract that statement.....Not any QB could lead that team to a 15-1 record in 2004 and a Super Bowl title in 2005....Train you honestly don't think Tommy Maddox would have do you?:lol:

ok no, not ANY QB, especially maddox but what i am saying is he had a GREAT team around him which means he didnt have to do anything special to win, just convert a few 3rd downs and hand the ball off.....now i want to see him grow as a QB and have a break out year and i expect him to do so...like i said he was impressive as a rookie and in our SB year but he was by no means a complete QB

BlitzburghRockCity
07-28-2007, 07:34 PM
No he wasn't a complete QB, there's nobody in the league in their first 2-3 years that's a complete QB. However there's no way any previous Steelers QB could have gotten us to the SB, IMO. Ben did some great things during our SB run and if it wasn't for him and "the tackle" we wouldn't have even been there.

Yes he does have a lot of growing up to do and has much room for improvement but I like where he's headed for sure and I wouldn't want anyone else.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-28-2007, 07:36 PM
ok no, not ANY QB, especially maddox but what i am saying is he had a GREAT team around him which means he didnt have to do anything special to win, just convert a few 3rd downs and hand the ball off.....now i want to see him grow as a QB and have a break out year and i expect him to do so...like i said he was impressive as a rookie and in our SB year but he was by no means a complete QB

I agree totally he a lot talent around him...No doubt what QB doesn't though that goes on to win a Super Bowl? I also said many times Ben was far from a finished product as a QB even in 2004 and 2005....I'm a huge Ben fan but I have also been critical of him to. I have never thought Ben was a top five NFL QB "yet"....I think he has the potential to be......I think we see it this year just as long there is no set backs and if he is really putting the work in to be great.....

I really didn't think you thought Maddox would lead that team to 15-1.......Any sane person wouldn't think that....:lol:

K Train
07-28-2007, 07:46 PM
Eli and phillip have nothing on him imo....i expect great thing from him, but at the same time im not gonna jump on his nuts for 2 years of success with an overall badass team.....he did show flashes of greatness in the playoff in 05 and we saw some of that last year but now that more responsibility is on him were gonna have to rely on him much more and go only as far as he takes us

SteelerSteve
08-02-2007, 09:04 PM
im not gonna jump on his nuts for 2 years of success with an overall badass team.....he did show flashes of greatness in the playoff in 05 :lol: Aw come on you know you want to jump on his nuts:lol:
Was it really his fault he did not get as many chances to throw? Maybe I'm just biased because of the playoffs he kicked *** in, but if I recall right, in a head to head match-up with the great peyton, he handed him his *** on a platter at his own game. So I guess in my opinion hes at least a top 7:crossfingers: