By Dale Grdnic
LATROBE, Pa. — Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got Wednesday afternoon off after throwing a lot of passes the first four days during the opening week of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at Saint Vincent College.
Roethlisberger threw an interception in each of the opening three afternoon practices and nearly was picked off Tuesday, but rookie cornerback Joe Burnett dropped it. Other than that, Roethlisberger was pretty sharp.
Then, during Wednesday morning’s red-zone drill, he fired three touchdown passes and appeared that the arm strength he was looking for had returned.
But Roethlisberger might have
pushed it a bit, although Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t admit that. And Roethlisberger was unavailable for comment.
“This was a planned afternoon off for Ben,” Tomlin said. “When you take No. 7 out of the offensive huddle, the leader, it was interesting to see Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon and (Mike Reilly) perform with a little adversity. It’s good to see how they operate with a key person out today. So, we wanted to give Ben a rest, but as I’ve said it’s not about the guys that you pull out of drills.
“It’s more about the guys that you put in the drills to replace them. When you take No. 7 out of the huddle, I was very interested to see the other guys in there. (And) the jury is still out on those guys. I reserve judgment until I can look at the tape. There weren’t a lot of highlight-reel plays, but sometimes it’s going to take 15 plays for us to get in the end zone. And that’s all right, too.”
Roethlisberger is expected to return Thursday when the Steelers have just one afternoon practice session.