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Thursday’s OTA Practice Report: 1st team performs well in Two-minute drill

By Inside Pittsburgh Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers went through their final OTA practice of the week today. Thursday’s practice was headlined by the two-minute drill. Here are the highlights from today’s workout
*Byron Leftwich was the first team quarterback once again and performed well in the two minute drill, leading the first team to a touchdown.
Leftwich used short-to-mid range precise passes to move down the field. Pittsburgh ran three receiver sets with Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle running with the first team.
Their two tight end sets featured Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth.
*Randle El had a short grab on the drive and Arnaz Battle made a pair of difficult catches down the middle with defenders on him to set up a Mike Wallace touchdown from about six yards out on a quick slant.
Wallace continues to be the star of OTA’s as the Steelers are looking for big things from him this season.
*Rashard Mendenhall was the primary back during the drill with Issac Redman being the Steelers primary backup when the team moved down the field and into the redzone.
The Steelers are expected to have an open competition for the backup spots behind Mendenhall. In today’s workout, Redman ran with the second team after working with the fourth team on Tuesday and the third team on Wednesday.
*6th round pick Jonathan Dwyer who has caught the eye of many with his acceleration to get by defenders, has seen time with the third and fourth team this week.
Pittsburgh’s first team offensive line remained the same: Max Starks – Chris Kemeoatu – Doug Legursky – Trai Essex – Willie Colon. Justin Hartwig remains limited and did not participate in drills but was in attendance.
*There continues to be speculation that Dennis Dixon is struggling to grasp the offensive playbook and that’s being pointed to by some media members as the reason he has yet to take first team reps.
Even If that’s the case, Dixon’s play on the field in practice is also not helping his case.
Dixon has struggled with his mid-to-long range passes and threw an interception during the second teams run in the two minute drill.
Cornerback Crezdon Butler intercepted Dixon with an atheltic grab near the sideline. Butler (2010 5th round pick) has shown good ball skills in OTA’s and is running with the second team as the third cornerback over Joe Burnett at times.
Butler is a player to watch.
The rotation at corner remains Taylor – McFadden; Lewis – Gay; Burnett has been running exclusively with the third team.

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