Steelers Notebook: Team knows the drill in first live plays
Quarterback Dennis Dixon ducks as a blocking pad thrown by quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson goes sailing over his head.
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The Steelers have practiced many times since they won their sixth Super Bowl Feb. 1. They practiced in April, and in May and in June. They held their first training camp practice Aug. 1 and have had one or two every day at Saint Vincent College since the
Yesterday afternoon, they ran their first live plays since they beat Arizona in Tampa.
On the ninth day of training camp practice, Mike Tomlin held his first goal-line drill. It consisted of seven plays from the 1 to end the hottest day of camp.
The live goal-line drill always carries the day for excitement and it was no different yesterday.
"No question the energy and enthusiasm are going to be there," said Tomlin, who gathered his players around him before placing the ball on the 1. "But I want to bottle it somewhat and make sure the guys understand that it's not a street fight. There's technique, camaraderie, there's etiquette and I thought those guys did a nice job."
No one had a better goal-line drill than Isaac Redman, a little-known back from little-known Bowie State in Maryland. Redman, an undrafted rookie, scored twice on his only two carries. He was running with the second team and against the second-team defense, but he looked good doing it.
It also got him off to a flying start after a solid first week in his first pro training camp.
"I feel pretty good about it ... but I can't let it go to my head, I still have to work hard," said Redman. "As long as I come out here and work hard and stay injury free, hopefully I have a good shot at making this team."
Few might have thought that back in April when no one drafted Redman after he ran just 108 times for 538 yards at Bowie State. The Steelers, in fact, were the only ones interested in signing him, he said.
"I was kind of under the radar, nobody knew too much about me."
He has good size at 6 feet, 230 pounds and has a rugged style. He seemed to know what to do at the goal line yesterday.
"Find the hole and go," he explained. "Can't do too much dancing around. You just have to see that crease, especially in the NFL, it closes up real fast. You just go to see the crease and go. If guys get under you, you ain't got a chance."
The Steelers have been looking for a short-yardage back since Jerome Bettis retired after the 2005 season. They drafted Frank "The Tank" Summers on the fifth round as a candidate. Summers failed to score on his first two carries off the right side yesterday but went wide the next time and made it in. Rashard Mendenhall, running with the first team because Willie Parker missed practice again, was stopped for no gain on his first carry and lost 2 on his second.
Add nose tackle Casey Hampton to the list of injured, although Tomlin said it is a minor knee issue that sidelined him during practice. A tight hamstring also derailed <strong>Limas Sweed</strong> during practice that also appeared minor."/>
Parker missed his second consecutive day with back spasms but Tomlin said he should practice when they resume this afternoon. Running back Mewelde Moore and receiver Martin Nance remain out with hamstring injuries.
Others still not practicing were defensive lineman Scott Paxson and tight end Dezmond Sherrod. Center Justin Hartwig continues to work on a limited basis and has yet to line up in 11 on 11.
First Published August 10, 2009 12:00 am