OTA No. 11 Practice Report
Photo: David Hague – Inside pittsburgh Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers concluded their final OTA practice of the week this afternoon as the team only has three OTA’s remaining. The Steelers will finish their OTA workouts next week with practices running from Tuesday through Thursday.
Notes from Today’s Workout
*Today’s focus in practice was on the return game. The usual suspects continue to get reps on kickoffs. That includes Stefan Logan, rookies Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and others. Even Rashard Mendenhall has seen time returning kicks.
*Ben Roethlisberger ran with the first team for the third straight day. Byron Leftwich ran with the second team and Dennis Dixon was No. 3.
In passing drills Roethlisberger was not sharp. Of notice, Roethlisberger threw behind Mike Wallace twice and overthrew Arnaz Battle on a deep ball.
Battle and Roethlisberger showed a lot of chemistry this week, connecting for big yardage on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cornerback Ike Taylor appears to be in excellent shape and stood out today with a nice play on defense, breaking up a Roethlisberger pass.
*Cornerback Tuff Harris out of Montana had some bad luck today. Harris had good coverage on a deep ball from Byron Leftiwch to Emmanuel Sanders that went for big yardage and shortly after, made a great break on a ball by Leftwich (should have been intercepted) that went right through his arms for a completition.
Sanders meanwhile has struggled for the most part with his short routes and getting a grasp on the offense but clearly has the ability to be a vertical threat. Sanders has had a good couple days of practices this week.
Very much looking forward to Sanders and Antonio Brown battling for one of the final receiver spots in training camp. Brown has been a pleasant surprise thus far and is currently ahead of Sanders on the depth chart.
Both also return kicks and Sanders has a clear edge being a third round pick but Brown is a player to keep an eye on.
*With Hines Ward still sidelined, the Steelers first team of three set receivers include Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle. Tyler Grisham has been running exclusively as the No. 4 receiver for weeks now with Brandon London, Brown and Sanders behind him.
*There is a lot of fuss about Troy Polamalu skipping out on OTA’s but it can be seen as a good thing.
It has given free agent signee Will Allen the opportunity to run with the first team on a daily basis and get more reps for Ryan Mundy who is entering a big training camp.
*Running back Isaac Redman has seen his share of time as the second team running back and Redman took a few reps with the 1st team today.
Among the more intriguing battles in training camp will be the backup running back position. The Steelers are looking for a running back to establish themselves as a viable option behind Mendenhall.