Not much to smile about
By BOB LABRIOLA
LATROBE, Pa. – The Steelers had just completed the seven-on-seven portion of the penultimate practice of this training camp, and Coach Bill Cowher thought it was time.
Cowher gathered the team around, and he talked to the assembled players and coaches for a few minutes. If he was angry, the people watching from the sideline couldn't tell, but those who have watched him coach this team know he didn't stop practice to start throwing platitudes around.
"We had a little heart-to-heart talk," said Cowher. "I wasn't looking for an immediate effect. It was more of putting things in their proper perspective."
And then he did just that for the media.
"We're 16 days away from our first game, and it's important to understand that," said Cowher. "When we come out here, we have to get things done. There have been high standards set around here, and I have to let them know where I think they are."
Watching from the sideline, it was obvious this wasn't one of the best practices of camp. There wasn't a lot of consistency in the performances, and there were times when it wasn't very crisp either.
A receiver would make a great catch of a ball thrown a bit off target, and then a few snaps later the same guy would drop one that hit him right in the chest. It was that kind of a day, the kind of day when even Hines Ward couldn't find a reason to crack a smile.