Practice makes perfect

A breakdown of Practice No. 1 at Saint Vincent College:


SEVEN SHOTS:** The ball was placed at the 2-yard line for seven consecutive snaps, as has been the Steelers' habit at the outset of practice, and the defense kept it from being advanced over the goal line on four of seven tries.

SHOT ONE: From an empty set, QB Ben Roethlisberger threw incomplete for WR Antonio Brown with S Mike Mitchell in coverage.
SHOT TWO: From an empty set, Roethlisberger threw incomplete for WR Darrius Heyward-Bey with CB Stephon Tuitt in coverage.
SHOT THREE: Roethlisberger ran a play-action keeper and scored.
SHOT FOUR: From an empty set, Roethlisberger threw incomplete for WR Markus Wheaton (he caught the pass but came down out of bounds).
SHOT FIVE: From an empty set, QB Landry Jones hit TE Paul Lang in the end zone.
SHOT SIX: From a one-back set, Jones found WR Levi Norwood for a conversion that tied the drill at 3-3.
SHOT SEVEN: From a one-back set, Jones failed to connect with WR Canaan Severin, which tipped the drill in favor of the defense.

SEVEN-ON-SEVEN: Roethlisberger went 5-for-6 passing for 57 yards in the passing drill that matches running backs, wide receivers and tight ends against linebackers and defensive backs. Roethlisberger hit TE Jesse James twice for 20 yards, TE David Johnson once for 17, Brown once for 11 and Heyward-Bey once for 9. The lone misfire was an overthrow of Brown on a sideline route.

"As soon as I let it go I knew," Roethlisberger told Brown.

QB Bruce Gradkowski followed Roethlisberger and went 3-for-3 for 20 yards.

Jones went 3-for-3 for 33 yards.

QB Dustin Vaughan went 2-for-3 for 21 yards.

YA GOTTA START SOMEWHERE: LT Alejandro Villanueva opened taking first-team reps with the offensive line.

James was the starting tight end (Johnson got work in two-tight end sets).

The opening secondary in Seven Shots consisted of Cockrell and William Gay at cornerback and Robert Golden and Mitchell at safety. CB Senquez Golson was the initial fifth DB.

NT Vince Williams worked with the first team in 11-on-11 drills.

Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree were the first-team outside linebackers.


MEDICAL FILE:** TE Xavier Grimble started practice but didn't finish (cramps).

THE SHIRT OFF THEIR BACKS: Roethlisberger wore No. 83 (TE Heath Miller's old number and LS Greg Warren wore No.6 (K Shaun Suisham's old number) during the warm-up portion of practice.

AUDIBLES: "We ain't got no second down. I want this (stuff) right." _ Special teams coordinator Danny Smith during a special teams drill.

"If you can't take care of the football, you can't play running back. We cool?" _ Head coach Mike Tomlin advising the running backs.

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