August 1, 2009
Steelers Today will be blogging from Latrobe, PA for the next few weeks. We are here at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp to bring you all the Steelers news that’s fit to print.
Rather than write this in the form of an article, here are my actual notes from today’s open practice.
2:55 PM practice starts. Things are slow as the players break up into their respective units and walk through drills. The offense is on one practice field, and the defense is on another.
-Santonio Holmes‘ arms look noticeably bigger. He’s been pumping iron.
-Who is the short white guy wearing #19 standing with the wide receivers? He’s standing next to Mike Wallace who is listed as 6’0″, and Mike is at least 3 inches taller than him.
-#19 is Tyler Grisham, a rookie out of Clemson. He’s listed as 5’11″, but he can’t be much taller than 5’9″.
-Say what you want about Willie Colon, but his legs are massive. They’re far bigger than any of the other offensive linemen’s.
3:22 PM A horn blows, the fans cheer, and practice gets started in earnest.
-”Big Snack” is very efficient with his motion. Translation: he stands around when everyone else is running or stretching.
-Frank “The Tank” Summers isn’t as massive as I expected him to be. Rashard Mendenhall actually looks more powerful.
-Dennis Dixon throws a beautiful spiral, but he looks a bit frail. He needs to gain some weight.
-Shaun McDonald, Mewelde Moore, Joe Burnett, and Santonio Holmes take turns fielding kickoffs. Where is Mike Wallace?
-#18 ( rookie WR Steven Black out of Memphis) looks impressive. He’s big and has already made a few shoestring catches.
-Matt Spaeth looks too tall and lanky to ever be an effective blocker.
-Shaun McDonald is playing like he wants to impress the coaches. He ran all of his routes very fast, and he makes quick, precise cuts.
-Martin Nance has already dropped too many balls, and they’re not even playing against a defense yet.
-#84 (TE Dezmond Sherrod) is slow and plodding when he runs his routes.
-Santonio Holmes’ status is clearly elevated since his Super Bowl MVP. The crowd erupts each time he catches a ball.
-The Steelers were blessed with great weather for their first day of open practice.
4:03 PM – Another horn sounds and the defense comes over to join the offense.
-Big Ben’s first pass against the defense is a quick slant to Sean McHugh for a completion.
-Willie Parker broke a long run, and the crowd erupted.
-Jeff Reed is practicing kicking to Dan Sepulveda. Jeff is kicking across the field (53.3 yards) and Sepulveda is catching the ball. Reed’s kicks are so accurate that Sepulveda never had to move more than 4 steps to catch the ball.
-Andre Frazier intercepts a pass from Roethlisberger.
-Santonio Holmes looked very elusive dodging and weaving after a short pass from Big Ben.
-#85 (rookie TE David Johnson) looks very effective holding his blocks in drills.
4:28 – The crowd erupted when Hines Ward caught a quick slant pass in traffic.
-Mike Wallace made a pretty sliding catch along the sideline on a pass from Charlie Batch.
-Keyaron Fox intercepted a pass and was chased down by Hines Ward.
-Dennis Dixon threaded a pass to Steve Black that went right between two defenders for a completion.
-If this had been full contact, Donovan Woods would have destroyed Ben Roethlisberger as he came in unblocked on a blitz.
4:34 PM – Another horn blew, and the team split up again for drills.
-Jeff Reed is kicking field goals. Has he missed one yet?
-Jeff Reed hits 3 straight 47 yard field goals and the horn blows again.
4:42 PM – Keenan Lewis breaks up a long pass from Charlie Batch to Mike Wallace.
-Rookie Andrew Schantz gets in a shot on David Johnson that was probably harder than it should have been on the first day of practice. The team is not doing any hitting or tackling today.
-The crowd erupted when Dennis Dixon completed a 45 yard pass to #19, rookie WR Tyler Grisham.
-On the next play, Dixon connected with Grisham on a diving catch along the sideline. This kid has good hands.
-Dixon connects with Steve Black along the opposite sideline.
-Dixon hit David Johnson right in the hands over the middle of the field, but Johnson dropped the ball.
-Dennis Dixon hits Tyler Grisham for another diving catch in traffic. Who is this kid?
(Note: The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has picked up on my Tyler Grisham observations. Read about it here. Of course I wrote about him 2 days earlier than they did).
-Keenan Lewis intercepted a long pass from Big Ben to Hines Ward.
-Ben overthrows Dallas Baker on a long fade route.
4:56 PM – The #1 offense and #1 defense take the field.
-On the first play, Willie Parker burst through the line and avoided the linebackers on a play that he would have taken all the way for a touchdown in a real game.
-Carey Davis breaks a nice run that would have gained 15 yards.
-Charlie Batch hits Rashard Mendenhall on a short pass behind the line of scrimmage that looks like no gain, but Mendenhall reverses field and picked up 10 yards.
-Ryan Clark intercepts a 20 yard pass from Big Ben that hit Santonio Holmes in the hands and bounced off.
5:07 PM – The final horn blew, and coach Tomlin gathered the team to end practice.
-After huddling together, the team breaks up and practice is over.
-Coach Tomlin leaves the field and runs past fans without signing any autographs.
-Dan Sepulveda is very gracious with fans. He signs more autographs than any other Steelers player.
-Sepulveda assured me that he is 100% recovered. When a fans said “We missed you last year”, Supulveda replied “Not as much as I missed the team”.
-Ryan Clark is also very gracious with fans. Only Sepulveda signs more autographs.
-Ziggy Hood is very good with fans. He is friendly and humble. He signs lots of autographs. Fans are going to like this kid.
If you haven’t read our other Day 2 coverage, be sure to read the following articles:
To read our coverage of Day 3 of Steelers training camp please click the link below:
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