Offense finds the end zone


LATROBE, Pa. - Two things were obvious during the first two-minute drill of training camp.

Both the offense and the defense have a lot of work to do.

And Mike Tomlin was rooting for the defense.

Tomlin made that clear by repeatedly chiming in before and after plays on Wednesday afternoon.

It was all directed at the gold jerseys.

When cornerback Antwon Blake thought he had made a play with a one-handed bat down of a pass to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, Tomlin let Blake know the pass should have been intercepted.

"Two hands," Tomlin hollered. "That's money right there, 41."

When the offense faced a second-and-10 from the 25-yard line with 39 seconds of the initial 1:53 left on the clock, Tomlin singled out defensive end Stephon Tuitt.

"We need a rush right here, Tuitt," Tomlin implored.

When the offense faced a fourth-and-10 two plays later, Tomlin was all about pre-snap reminders for the defense.

"Rush and re-routes (of receivers)," he encouraged. "Rush and re-routes."

And before what turned out to be the final play of the drive by the first-team offense against the first-team defense, Tomlin advised the defenders that the offense was out of timeouts and just 20 seconds remained.

"It's the end zone and the sideline," Tomlin barked. "They can't make a play in the field of play."

The offense went 7-for-7 today in the "Seven Shots" drill during today's practice at Saint Vincent College.

Tomlin's reaction to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 13-yard strike to wide receiver Antonio Brown in the corner of the end zone was directed at cornerback B.W. Webb.

"I'm not surprised," Tomlin said.

It was apparent this time that Tomlin wanted to see the defense take a situational step forward, one it ultimately proved incapable of taking.

It might be different the next time.

"I coach them all, all 90," Tomlin maintained afterward. "And I flop sides sometimes during a practice, sometimes during a drill, sometimes during a play.

"I have that latitude."

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