Steelers Notebook: Roethlisberger -- Pass the word. The arm's fine

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The right arm of Ben Roethlisberger feels so good that the Steelers quarterback wants everyone to shout it from the rooftops.

He particularly asked reporters after practice yesterday to spread the word, saying, "You guys made such a big deal about my arm being sore like the first three days of practice that, hopefully, you guys will start writing that my arm's looking better."

Roethlisberger, after the third day of training camp practices in Latrobe Aug. 3, mentioned that "my arm is not where I want it to be yet."

It's better now.

"It feels good," he said after a long afternoon of passing drills. "Today, the red zone period, 7 on 7, we completed every pass. I think we completed all but one in the team red zone, so it's really starting to come along. ... It just took about a week; that's kind of what we anticipated."

Roethlisberger said the offense wants to contribute more this season and not lean on the NFL's No. 1 defense so often.

"We need to improve as a total offense," he said. "We need to set our goals higher and be better because we can't just rely on our defense to win every game for us."

Reaction to Favre

Roethlisberger, on yet another comeback by quarterback Brett Favre, this time with the Minnesota Vikings: "Shoot, he did it right: He missed all of training camp. I'm going to try that next year or something."

Asked if he had any reaction to Favre's return, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "None."

The Steelers play the Vikings Oct. 25 at Heinz Field.

Moore tests his legs

Halfback Mewelde Moore slowly, gradually is coming back from a hamstring problem that virtually ended his training camp Aug. 4. Yesterday, he pulled on his uniform again and ran some individual drills. He then stripped to his shorts and ran around the field when the Steelers went to their team practice.

"I feel really good, it's just a process," said Moore, who helped keep the Steelers' Super Bowl season alive last season after injuries had shelved Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall. "I don't have any control over how my body responds."

Said Tomlin: "Mewelde Moore's marching his way back. He was able to participate in individual drills and we're just going to keep moving him forward. I like where he is."

Moore was used little in his first four games with the Steelers after signing with them as a free agent from the Vikings last season. Then came the injuries to Parker and Mendenhall. Moore started three consecutive games and rushed for 303 yards. He settled in as their third-down back and finished with 588 yards rushing and 40 receptions.

His versatility and productivity have made him a strong component of their backfield.

Pumping up McDonald

Cornerback Ike Taylor, of course, covers Steelers receivers in practice and he likes what he has seen so far in veteran newcomer Shaun McDonald.

"As you all see, just from practice, it's carrying over to game time," Taylor said. "All he's doing is making plays. He was with Detroit two years ago, caught over 90 balls and had close to 1,000 yards. That speaks for itself. He knows what he's doing."

McDonald, who led the Lions with 79 receptions for 943 yards in 2007, led the Steelers Thursday with six catches and 69 yards.

"He's helping us out big-time," Taylor said.

Lottery sponsorship

Scratch-off lottery tickets with the Steelers logo are now on sale for $5 through the Pennsylvania Lottery, with a portion going to the ballclub.

The NFL, which forced some Rooney brothers to sell their portions of the team because they continue to own racetrack casinos, has permitted teams to enter sponsorship deals with lotteries such as the Steelers (and Philadelphia Eagles) have in Pennsylvania.

Quick hits

Defensive end Nick Eason left practice early with what Tomlin described as a calf strain of some kind. Defensive tackle Scott Paxson has a minor elbow injury and tight end/fullback Sean McHugh did not practice because of a swelling that Tomlin called "training camp knee." Wide receiver Martin Nance returned to practice full time. Of the team injury situation, Tomlin said, "We're relatively blessed from that standpoint. ... Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was on hand for part of practice.

Ed Bouchette can be reached at .


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