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Weather changes venue, practice rolls on

Posted Aug 5, 2012

The weather wreaked havoc with the Steelers practice plans for Sunday afternoon, forcing the team to move from St. Vincent College to their South Side practice facility for the day.

“We were working with trying to combat the weather today,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “We had an opportunity to come back and work here at the indoor facility. We’ll have some evening meetings, tomorrow will be a player’s day off and they’ll be back in time for bed checks tomorrow night.”

Tomlin said that changing surroundings during camp isn’t something he likes doing, but getting on the practice field was the key.

“I love camp,” said Tomlin. “But I will do what I’ve got to do to roll the ball out and get some work done. Obviously, it was necessary today to come back and get it done here.”

The team didn’t let the thunder, lightning, pounding rain outside, or even a power outage during practice, impact things once the whistle blew. Tomlin actually liked the way the players were able to adjust on the fly, not letting the change in surroundings become a distraction.

“I thought we put a nice exclamation point on a good, competitive weekend,” said Tomlin. “We put them in a variety of unusual circumstances and they responded, from Friday night lights to short yardage drills and the goal line drill yesterday, to the logistics of coming down here and performing. I like the way the group is showing me that they are capable of playing at any time that we roll the ball out and under any circumstances. It was a good developmental thing and we’ll keep pushing forward.”

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not practice on Sunday after getting his ankle stepped on in practice the day before, but the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.

“Ben Roethlisberger is status quo with his ankle and he should be fine,” said Tomlin. “We’ll take a look at it and he will be day-to-day. We’ll see how it goes.”

Roethlisberger reiterated what Tomlin said, getting a few days rest with not practicing Sunday and the player’s day off on Monday.

“It just got stepped on. No big deal,” said Roethlisberger. “Coach Tomlin gave me the day off. I think he was going to give me the day off anyway because we have tomorrow off. So 48 hours, that gives me time to get ready to go next week.”

Roethlisberger addressed errant reports that the ankle was sprained, assuring all it is fine.

“I don’t know where that came from. It just was completely stepped on,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s good, no worries. It just got stepped on. It was nothing.”

Also on the injury front Tomlin said there is no major news. Cornerback Curtis Brown left practice early with soreness in his right knee, but other injured players are status quo.

Tomlin did provide an update on punter Jeremy Kapinos, who has missed practice the last few days.

“He is experiencing some back discomfort,” said Tomlin. “I characterize him as week-to-week at this point. I’ll give you an update when there’s a change in his condition.”

Tomlin was also asked about the players still on the PUP list, including Rashard Mendenhall, Max Starks, James Harrison, Jason Worilds and Casey Hampton, but didn’t have any timetable on any of them returning to the field.

“I don’t know at this point,” said Tomlin. “We’re taking some of those things day-to-day. Some of those guys are day-to-day, some of those guys are week-to-week. The vast majority of the guys on the PUP List, obviously, are week-to-week. We’ll evaluate their position when we get back from Philly.”

* * *

The Steelers return to practice at St. Vincent College on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 2:55 p.m. It will be their last practice before they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in the preseason opener on Thursday night.

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