LATROBE – Lawrence Timmons said “it’s just a precaution.”
Mike Tomlin said “it’s not
But, still, over on the sidelines, gathering mental reps as he did all spring, was Timmons, who “felt a little twinge” in the groin area and sat out of the Steelers’ afternoon practice.
“We’re just being cautious,” said Tomlin. “We don’t want to take any steps backward as we move forward. We’ll take a look at him tonight and go from there, but until that point he did make a play or two this morning.”
Timmons, in fact, made a diving, juggling interception of a Charlie Batch
pass just before leaving the field Thursday morning. He was treated throughout lunch and resumed his spring-time position on the sideline that afternoon. He said he’ll be evaluated day to day.
“I’m not going to rush anything. We’ve still got 20 days,” said Timmons, who actually could use some of those 20 days to learn the Steelers’ complex defense.
“It wasn’t a specific play,” he said. “It’s just two-a-days wear on your body. … Two-hour practices each time are hard on a groin when you’ve never done that before.”
According to teammates, free safety Anthony Smith is the betting favorite to instigate the first fight of training camp.
Judging by the way he’s flying around the field, it’s understandable why the smart money’s going his way. On Thursday afternoon he rocked receiver Willie Reid on a pass over the middle
“He cut back and I thought he was going to keep running straight so I kind of hit him,” said Smith, who, like Reid, was a third-round draft pick last year.
Does Smith’s style bother Tomlin?
“No, I like that,” Tomlin said. “That’s the secondary coach in me. But, no, he’s a guy that loves to play the game. He’s a physical guy. Guys kind of know his playing personality and we appreciate it.”
Smith’s “playing personality” was on display Thursday morning during the blitz pick-up drill which pit safeties and nickel backs against running backs. Smith couldn’t be blocked, and he let everyone know it.
“They couldn’t really stop me and I had a good day with the bets,” he said. “Nobody could stop me.”
RB COACH BREAKS IT DOWN
New running back coach Kirby Wilson on his boys after the second blitz pick-up drill of the week:
“Right now, Najeh (Davenport) is really an outstanding pass protector. I think all the other guys are coming along. Carey Davis is doing some really good things. John Kuhn is really a better pass protector than he’s given credit for. We’re just trying to improve, and right now they’re all competing.”
Davenport was the back who was flattened by rookie LaMarr Woodley on Tuesday.
“That caught him off guard because you’re not allowed to cut in that drill and the young guy didn’t understand the tempo of it,” Wilson said. “But it was very impressive and it got Najeh’s attention.”
As for Davis, the fullback-tailback tweener is leaving Kevan Barlow in
the dust in the battle for a roster spot. And Kuhn flattened defensive tackle Scott Paxson later in the day during the 9-on-7 run game session. It drew the loudest reaction of the day from the crowd at Chuck Noll Field.
WARD RIPS ROOKIES
Hines Ward had some strong words for the rookies, particularly undrafted tight end Cody Boyd.
“He was garbage,” Ward said. “And the rookie wideouts, they’re probably the poorest out of all of them, so I’ve got to really work with them.”
Please, go on Hines.
“This is the worst class in terms of talent,” Ward said. “They’re going to have to step up their game for this year’s Rookie Talent Show because our talent is terrible here.” Yes, Ward was talking about the rookies’ singing ability.