LATROBE, Pa. - Key takeaways before the first practice in pads.
SEVEN SHOTS: Roethlisberger threw a dump pass to FB Will Johnson that may or may not have gone for a touchdown (with no tackling it was anyone's guess) and was intercepted by CB Cortez Allen on two attempts in the practice-opening "Seven Shots" drill from the 2-yard line. QB Landry Jones threw a TD pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and was intercepted by CB Doran Grant in the drill. Grant returned the ball out of the end zone but the play wasn't finished. "It looked like he was gone the other way with it," head coach Mike Tomlin said.
The Pittsburgh Steelers participated in their second practice in front of fans at Saint Vincent College. This is the final practice before pads go on.
PRACTICE SNAPS:** Tomlin said "heat was a factor" on Day Two but he didn't see that as a negative. "That's just an awesome part of team development," Tomlin said. "For the most part guys pushed through." … WR/RB Dri Archer, WR Eli Rogers, WR Markus Wheaton and WR Antonio Brown fielded a combined six punts cleanly (one ball was punted out of bounds) … WR Shakim Phillips caught a long TD pass from Jones … Rogers extended to make a nice catch on a ball from QB/WR Tyler Murphy … Heyward-Bey made a leaping catch on a long ball from Jones over S Shamarko Thomas and CB Antwon Blake ... Roethlisberger's only throwing in 11-on-11 play occurred in "Seven Shots." … Tomlin on the defense making some plays: "It's Day Two. I'm not trying to convince myself they're good. They're working."
HOUSEKEEPING: TE Cameron Clear (heat-related illness) and S Ross Ventrone (lower leg) didn't finish practice. TE Matt Spaeth (coach's decision) didn't participate. LB James Harrison and S Will Allen were held out for a second consecutive day.
BEN ON THE BUS: Roethlisberger said he considers Hall-of-Fame RB Jerome Bettis "like a big brother, a (much) older big brother. He was such an awesome leader and person. I still to this day, whenever there's a situation dealing with a player, I think, 'How would Jerome handle this? What would he do?' That's how much I look up to him."