Wednesday’s Practice Notes
–Maurkice Pouncey got a little work at center instead of just guard. He made some center calls today too.
–Trai Essex stepped on Pouncey’s toe at one point, stunning the first round draft choice for a bit. But he finished the drill and the practice.
-No Ben Roethlisberger again at practice today. Commissioner Roger Goodell claims he’ll study Roethlisberger’s behavioral evaluation soon and make a determination as to whether or not Big Ben can return in time for next week’s OTA’s.
In the meantime, he is said to have golfed with ex-girlfriend Natalie Gulbis yesterday at Laurel Valley. Gulbis is in town in advance of the U.S. Women’s open at Oakmont. She is making a public appearance at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Robinson on Thursday.
-Tomorrow the Steelers debut their 2009 highlight film at Heinz field. Team president Art Rooney II may address the media before it is unveiled. Given the way last season turned out, if there is good news about Roethlisberger, it could be the ultimate case of the previews being better than the movie. The highlight video is supposed to be 30 minutes. After the 6-&-2 start, one has to wonder what will be seen in the last 15 minutes. You can only see so much of the Green Bay win, right?
-By the way, the movie is ironically entitled: “A Fine Line.” That was one of Bill Cowher’s favorite clichés.
–Troy Polamalu is still absent. Hines Ward is back. But he just did some running today.
–William Gay and Ike Taylor stayed late after practice. They were using a machine that fires tennis balls at high speeds at shoulder level. It’s usually used by the wide outs. The goal is to sharpen hand-eye coordination.
-Gay admitted that he has entered this spring more “humble.” But he disagreed with DB Coach Ray Horton’s assessment that Gay got “too full of himself” last year. Rather, Gay said he just didn’t have a good season, didn’t play well, didn’t make enough plays, and dropped too many interceptions.
–Rashard Mendenhall gave a ringing endorsement to the notion of utilizing a fullback more often in the Steelers offense
–Ryan Clark disavowed any connection to the three young men who tried to break back into Heinz Field early Sunday morning. Clark and the three out of town visitors all attended the same wedding at the stadium Saturday night. About 400 other people were there too.
The Steeler safety is said to have given the bridal party a tour and addressed the wedding party at the reception. But he insists he had no knowledge of the mischievous events that followed. The three men caused national headlines when they tried get back in the stadium Sunday morning to take pictures on the field. All three men were of Middle Eastern decent.
The FBI allegedly questioned at least one of the men. His lawyer insists his client has no terrorist connections. “I didn‘t know anything about that. I just read a little something about it the next day,” Clark said, “Those weren’t MY people. They weren’t part of the Clark crew.”