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Thread: News from the OTAs (June 1st)

      
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    Default News from the OTAs (June 1st)

    June 1, 2010, 1:50 PM

    Ben Roethlisberger is back.

    After being cleared by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week to return to the Steelers for offseason workouts, Ben was present at OTA's here on Tuesday to start June.

    Roethlisberger will have five additional optional spring workouts to attend through next week before the squad breaks for the summer. #7 came back on a day where Byron Leftwich was not present, an absence that was according to team officials expected as Byron had a pre-scheduled matter to attend to. Leftwich is reportedly expected to return for Wednesday's session.

    With Byron out for the day, Roethlisberger took over all first-team reps in team drills. The 11-on-11 action started with a "pass under pressure" drill featuring Ben in a shotgun-empty set formation for the first three plays. Ben connected on his first pass on a quick route to Arnaz Battle.

    Left tackle Max Starks said Ben's first drill was "just one of our new three step protections that we put in actually last week, and we wanted to rep it today. It's almost like a screen for us. It wasn't like a seven-step drop on an empty set or anything like that (laughs), that's when we start [to] cringe."

    When asked what the rotation of QBs might be like when Leftwich does return, Starks said, "that's a good question, I imagine switching [series] or if not each guy will take a different rep. I mean we have four quarterbacks and three teams, there has to be some type of rotation. For us it doesn't matter who's behind us calling the plays just as long as they get the ball snapped to them. Each quarterback has a different cadence but we've played with all of them we know all their cadences."

    As for team reaction to having Roethlisberger back around, one of Ben's closer friends on the team DE Brett Keisel said "I think it's good for him to be around us and to be working. I'm happy that he's back. He's been working hard at home and he wants to be great this year. Hopefully he will. I don't know that he's really asked for advice; we talk about a lot of stuff. We're friends and that's what friends do. Any way I can help him he knows I'm there for him."

    LB Larry Foote even went so far as to refute some of the reports of Ben being poorly received in the past by teammates in the locker room. "As far as the teammate and in the locker room that stuff is ridiculous," said Foote. "As far as his work ethic and commitment you don't win two Super Bowls without sacrificing and giving something up. As far as a leader you don't see many quarterbacks sticking in there and giving up his body for the team. He put it on the line every week, and just that alone we have respect and admiration for him."

    Foote continued, "In the locker room I've never seen the stuff I'm hearing. He's a good high quality guy in the locker room. Everybody makes mistakes and we've got to learn from it. It's way overblown and I feel bad the black eye he's getting from this and people throwing stones. You know he made bad decisions, he's got to put himself in better situations but that comes with maturity. He's still a young man, plays a kid's game, has a lot of money. I'm quite sure he learned his lesson the hard way. But as far the character thing and people taking shots at the type of leader in the locker room& that's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous."

    In March ESPN's news magazine show Outside the Lines ran a special feature on Roethlisberger during which former teammates Najeh Davenport and Mike Logan described a team meeting in 2005 when the QB was called out by Joey Porter for being a poor teammate. Foote said, "We had a meeting but that was nobody taking shot, it was an encouraging thing. It wasn't taking a shot at Ben, not at all. He [Joey] was addressing the whole team, he was calling everybody out."

    By all accounts Roethlisberger did not address his teammates in any kind of formal way today nor did any teammates express a desire for him to do so. Ben did make the rounds on the practice fields with certain guys, shaking hands with new first-round draft pick Maurkice Pouncey. Roethlisberger threw with Charlie Batch off to the side for quite a while, and then slapped high 5's with every member of the starting defense as has been his custom through the years before stepping into the offensive huddle for team drills.

    Ben also did not speak with the media today and it is unclear when or if he will do so here in the spring.

    Players not attending practice today included Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, and James Harrison in addition to Leftwich and Thaddeus Gibson. Starting on defense in place of the absentees were Ryan Mundy and Will Allen at safety, William Gay (and some Keenan Lewis) rotating across from Bryant McFadden at cornerback, and Andre Frazier at OLB.

    A brief scuffle broke out after a play between rookie wideout Antonio Brown and Lewis, but it was broken up quickly. Brown said "just competitive nature, third week in, tensions rising. At the end of the day we're all a team. When we go in the locker room we're buddies. I felt like I had a good block on him and I think he was mad but we can't all be setting that example. I take the blame, and I'm going to relax."

    http://stations.espn.go.com/stations...4&post=5239317
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: News from the OTAs (June 1st)

    Pittsburgh Steelers OTA notes
    June, 1, 2010
    By James Walker

    PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers took the practice field Tuesday with Ben Roethlisberger's much-anticipated return.

    Here are several notes and observations:

    [HIGH-LIGHT]*[/HIGH-LIGHT] Roethlisberger played with the first team and he looked pretty good. He even looked slimmer than he did earlier this offseason. We will have more on Roethlisberger later in the AFC North blog.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]*[/HIGH-LIGHT] Veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich did not participate in practice -- he was out with an excused absence. It's unknown how the Steelers would have divided the snaps had Leftwich been available, because he has run the first team so far. At some point that will be something the Steelers have to figure out.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]*[/HIGH-LIGHT] Rashard Mendenhall ran the ball well today. I try not to overrate football in shorts -- especially with running backs because there is no contact -- but Mendenhall looks very comfortable in his role as the go-to guy.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]*[/HIGH-LIGHT] Watch out for second-year cornerback Keenan Lewis. He's big and he's fast, which always looks impressive this time of year. Lewis will have to make a lot more plays in camps this year if he wants to earn playing time. But at the very least, he looks the part physically. Lewis will compete with William Gay and Joe Burnett for the nickel and dime roles.



    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...lers-ota-notes
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: News from the OTAs (June 1st)

    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: News from the OTAs (June 1st)

    No news on day of Ben's return
    By Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest
    6-1-2010
    Posted 29 minutes ago



    As for the news of the day, there was none.

    In recent times, news has come to be confused with hype, and the phalanx of satellite trucks in the parking lot of the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on Tuesday promised to deliver bushels of that. But on the first day of June – as so often is the case in NFL cities at this point in the calendar – nothing really happened.

    That Ben Roethlisberger had been cleared by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to return to team activities beginning this week had been known since last Thursday, and word filtered out early on June 1 that neither Roethlisberger nor Coach Mike Tomlin would be available to the media. Then, Byron Leftwich sucked the last legitimate newsy angle from the whole day by not being on hand for the workout, thereby eliminating the possibility of making something out of whether it would be Roethlisberger or Leftwich at quarterback with the first-team offense.

    As it was, Roethlisberger essentially replaced Leftwich during the day’s drills, with no other changes to the previous Ben-less pecking order that had Dennis Dixon at quarterback with the 2s and Charlie Batch at quarterback with the 3s.

    To sum up, there was no suspense as to when Roethlisberger was going to return, nothing to discern regarding the division of practice repetitions, and no comments from either Tomlin or Roethlisberger at the end of the day.

    The only real test to which Roethlisberger was subjected was the eye test, and while he certainly looked to be slim and trim in the uniform of the day, he also looked like a quarterback whose timing and accuracy indicated he hadn’t done a whole lot of practicing of late with his teammates, which he had not, per the terms of the suspension initially levied by Goodell back in late April.

    The demands of today’s round-the-clock news cycle will ensure that everything Roethlisberger will be reported, discussed, blogged and tweeted to death, but the reality is that from a purely football standpoint, nobody knows what to expect from a situation where a starting quarterback will be suspended – at least – for the first four games of his team’s regular season, and nobody knows how best to prepare him – and the rest of the team – for that eventuality.

    Because the terms of any NFL suspension prohibit the player from having any contact with the team in terms of practicing, meetings, supervised individual workouts and the like for the duration, Roethlisberger is facing a minimum four-week absence from every aspect of his job come the start of the regular season.

    Can repetitions in June OTAs, or in training camp, or in the preseason games for that matter, somehow compensate for those weeks? Is there such a thing as a preemptive treatment for rust?

    The larger issue in all of this is the progress being made, and still to be made, by Roethlisberger with respect to the terms of his suspension and to make the necessary changes in his life to work himself back into the good graces of the NFL and the Steelers. To rehabilitate himself and his image.

    But those are real-life things not to be judged in the media or on message boards, and progress in those areas certainly should not be expected to conform to news cycles or be expected to cater to the daily demands of sports talk radio.

    As for the pure football significance of June 1 on the Steelers 2010 season, nothing happened. Film at 11.

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...e-491f1524fb17
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: News from the OTAs (June 1st)

    Here's a video report from the Trib on the June 1st practice...

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/...id=89339582001
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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