By Mike Bires
Limas Sweed was clearly the No. 1 star of Sunday’s training camp practice at St. Vincent College.
Sweed, who didn’t make much of an impact last year as a rookie, hauled in two impressive catches during an 11-on-11 team drill.
The first catch was a
diving grab on a down-and-out rout near the sideline. The second was a long pass along the sidelline in which he out-jumped rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis.
After the second catch, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made it a point to congratulate Sweed, the Steelers’ second-round draft pick last year.
“Ben told me, ‘That’s confidence,’ ” Sweed said. “He said, ‘That’s confidence that I can throw you the ball like that. That builds confidence and it builds a relationship. You make plays like that, and that will make me believe in you even more.’ “
Coach Mike Tomlin was happy to see Sweed practice well. But he also saw Sweed drop a pass later that he should have caught easily.
So Tomlin is not ready to anoint Sweed as the successor to Nate Washington as the team’s No. 3 wideout.
The candidates to succeed Washington are Sweed, free-agent acquisition Shaun McDonald and rookie Mike Wallace, a third-round draft pick.
“I will just continue to watch and let it reveal itself to me,” Tomlin said. “It’s a little early to start taking pictures about where he or anyone is at this point. That is the nature of training camp – good practices, bad practices. I tend to base my judgments over the long haul, looking for consistencies and things of that nature. It’s obvious he had a good day today. But that doesn’t tell us much.”