LATROBE, Pa. - It went just as Coach Mike Tomlin had hoped it would, a productive practice against the Buffalo Bills run in a professional manner, without the incidents that occurred when the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders recently held a joint practice.
“I appreciate the professionalism from both teams and that’s what it’s about, too. I think we’ve got an obligation to show our professionalism. I thought both teams did a great job of that largely.”
There was the normal aggressiveness that comes with a practice of this sort, with the defenses always wanting to impose their will, but the practice generated nothing more than a little extracurricular activity that quickly passed.
“I thought it was great practice. I thought there was great etiquette,” said Tomlin. “I appreciate the restraint and professionalism by both teams. I think that doesn’t get reported often enough. We like to turn on the TV and see gory, unfortunate incidents like what happened between Dallas and Oakland, and we’re here to prove that teams are capable of coming together and doing it in a productive and professional manner. I compliment both teams for how they did it today.”
Tomlin said one of the biggest advantages to the joint practice was the increased intensity it generated, giving it a different feel than when you go against your teammates.
“What it does is you only get so many practice opportunities and practice days, and it raises the level of intensity and urgency up a notch,” said Tomlin. “I think anytime you can do that with a football team it helps. So I really don’t compare it to in-stadium work. I compare it to a non-practice against another football team.”
Roethlisberger thought it had a definite advantage for some of the younger receivers and backs on the team, giving them a new look than they have become used to during camp.
“Going against new guys is good,” said Roethlisberger. “You go against the same guy every day and learn how he is. To have a new defensive back to go against is good for them.”
The Steelers sustained a few bumps and bruises in the practice, but also long snapper