Team Action (Play-by-Play Analysis)
In the 11-on-11 portion, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger started slowly with an interception by safety Troy Polamalu and incomplete pass toward Santonio Holmes.
He finally completed pass to Hines Ward and turned over the reigns to backup Charlie Batch.
Dallas Baker on a slant and came back with another shot to Baker, who held on despite taking a big hit from safety Tyrone Carter. Remember, this is supposed to be a non-contact drill.
Second-year pro Dennis Dixon took the helm for the next series and connected with David Johnson. The tight end dropped the next toss to him across the middle, and Dixon’s third pass — a quick out to running back Stefan Logan — got more sideways yardage and forward progress.
Roethlisberger returned for another series and was a little sharper. He fired to Johnson after a nice check-down and passed for a first down to tight end Matt Spaeth.
The next pass went to Mendenhall in the flat for a few more yards, and Batch came on in relief for one play. On full-out-blitz, Batch was able to find Sherrod down the field for a first down, as time ran out.
In a short red-zone drill, Roethlisberger hit Spaeth for a touchdown in the back of the end zone.
He then fired to Limas Sweed inside the 5, and the wideout slipped into the end zone from there.
Batch came on and had a pass knocked down by safety Ryan Mundy, but on second down he connected with a pass down the middle to Mike Wallace for the score.
Batch also found Shaun McDonald open in the end zone for a touchdown, but he was nearly picked off by cornerback Deshea Townsend as well. So, there were four touchdowns in six red-zone passes for the first and second team.
Baker took the two biggest hits on the day, from Carter earlier in the practice and near the end from Shantz. He didn’t hang onto the ball after the linebacker’s shot in the ribs.
There are two practices Saturday, at 9:30 a.m. (likely a special teams one) and 3 p.m. (open to the public). The last two practices had huge crowds, 10,000 at camp Thursday afternoon and 15,000 at the Friday night practice.