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Steelers continue team development

Posted Aug 5, 2013

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Coach Mike Tomlin dialed it back a bit at practice on Monday, with live contact replaced by practice in shorts.

But despite the change, Tomlin was pleased with what was accomplished.

“We did good work today and continued with the team development process,” said Tomlin. “We changed our attire today, really trying to maximize the off day that we have tomorrow so that we can get bodies back and have a productive Wednesday and continue on with our work week. We took a step in that regard with the level of participation today.”

Back at practice on Monday were running back Le’Veon Bell, linebacker Larry Foote, tight end Matt Spaeth and defensive end Nick Williams. Nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu was also back at practice after being removed from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

But with the good news came some bad news as cornerback Curtis Brown left practice early, carted off with an ankle injury.

* * *

The shift at tackle, with Mike Adams now working on the left side and Marcus Gilbert on the right, continues at practice and both players said as long as they are on the field helping the team, they are happy.

Gilbert said he wasn’t surprised by the move as it was hinted at during the team’s offseason program, but never fully came about after Adams was sidelined following a stabbing incident. With both of them back on the field, it’s now in full effect.

“Anywhere on the line keeping No. 7 (Ben Roethlisberger) clean is the most important thing,” said Gilbert, who admitted he prefers the left and the responsibility of protecting Roethlisberger’s blind side along with it. “We’ll see what happens. You can’t tell right now. I just know all of the guys are coming out busting our tails to improve as a line and bet better than last year.”

* * *

Cornerback Cortez Allen is a spectator at practice right now, but the favorite to start at left corner is still learning every day.

“Although I can’t be out there physically, the mental aspect is important and I just have to continue to build on that,” said Allen. “It’s not a setback.

“I try to stay as positive as possible. It’s disappointing any time you aren’t able to do what you love. I pride myself on staying in good spirits so I take it for what it is and do my best to get back on the field.”

* * *

The Steelers are off on Tuesday, and have an open practice on Wednesday and Thursday at 2:55 p.m. at St. Vincent College. Parking lots and the UPMC Steelers Experience open at 12 noon. The Steelers will not practice on Friday, and play the New York Giants in the preseason opener on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Heinz Field.

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