Steelers Notebook: Early camp interceptions not concern for Roethlisberger
August 4, 2009 4:00 AM
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette
Ben Roethlisberger, making his way to the Steelers trainig camp practice field, high fives fans along the way before afternoon sessions yesterday at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.
By Ed Bouchette Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ben Roethlisberger has thrown more interceptions in training camp practices because, he said, his arm does not feel strong.
No need to worry, though. At least not yet.
The quarterback said it usually takes him the first week of training camp before his right arm is where it should be.
"It's frustrating at times. I think I have a pick every day in practice because my arm is not where I want it to be yet," Roethlisberger said. "Trying to make the throws I can make later in the year that I try to do now, my arm is not ready for it."
Roethlisberger threw one deep pass to Santonio Holmes yesterday that fluttered incomplete.
"We misconnected on a couple of deep balls today but it didn't look like it had anything to do with arm strength," said coach Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin said it is a "safe assumption" that it usually takes Roethlisberger a week to get his arm to midseason form. The quarterback said he moves at a slower pace now to preserve his arm late in the season.
"I don't throw a lot before I come into this for that reason. I don't want to get worn down late in the year," Roethlisberger said. "It just takes a couple of days to get into it. I hope by Wednesday I'll be getting better and by the weekend I'll be in pretty good form."
On a learning curve
Players scuffled in the afternoon practice, dropped balls and generally did not perform the way Tomlin expected them to.
"We come here to develop skill and to develop our team, techniques and assignments," Tomlin said. "But we also have to learn how to practice. We take examples like things that happened today as a teaching tool. This is part of football."
Scuffles involved Ike Taylor and Carey Davis, Scott Paxon and Ramon Foster, and Keyaron Fox and Tony Hills. Also, rookie receiver Mike Wallace was hit hard, inadvertently, by safety Tyrone Carter on a pass play.
With them vicariously
Tomlin talked to Dan Rooney, the new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, and said the team's chairman emeritus "is with us in spirit."
"One of the first things he mentioned was this is the first start of training camp he is missing in 68 years," Tomlin said, "so it kind of put it in perspective for me. I'm missing him but I'm sure he's missing us a little bit more."
Center Darnell Stapleton sat out the day with fluid on a knee. With starting center Justin Hartwig still out with a toe injury, the snapping duties fell to Doug Legursky and rookie A.Q. Shipley. ... Hines Ward missed his third consecutive practice. Tomlin said he gave him the day off. Others given the day off or one practice off were James Farrior, Deshea Townsend and Travis Kirschke. ... Running back Stefan Logan came off the PUP list and practiced.