Practice report: Taking it to the house


LATROBE, Pa. - Key takeaways from today's practice at Saint Vincent College:


SEVEN SHOTS:** The Steelers tried a new wrinkle on the first snap, one that featured QB Ben Roethlisberger throwing to OT Alejandro Villanueva, who had reported as eligible and then split out wide in the formation. S Will Allen successfully defended the throw … Roethlisberger hit FB Will Johnson with a shovel pass and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey for conversions … LB James Harrison stuffed RB DeAngelo Williams in the backfield … QB Bruce Gradkowski hit QB/WR Tyler Murphy for a conversion, could have had another on a pass TE Jesse James almost made a tough catch on but didn't, and should have had another on what became a drop by Heyward-Bey … The defense prevailed, 4-3

TEAM RUN: The highlight was a first-snap, 85-yard bolt by RB Jawon Chisholm, who made a couple moves early and then refused to be caught by SS Shamarko Thomas and FS Mike Mitchell after breaking into the clear.

Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if it had appeared the defense wasn't ready for the start of a drill during which Chisholm was eligible to be tackled but wasn't on the home run first snap.

"I'll let them answer that," Tomlin said. "It speaks for itself. It's on video."

THIS BUD'S FOR YOU: LB Bud Dupree got into a couple of heated scraps, the first a scuffle with OG Ramon Foster, one that C Maurkice Pouncey, OT Kelvin Beachum and LB Jarvis Jones also became involved in, among others. Dupree had to be repeatedly restrained by teammates after that one, and then got into a subsequent dust-up with OT Marcus Gilbert.

TWO-FOR-TWO: K Garrett Hartley connected on field goals of 47 and 53 yards at the conclusion of two-minute drills that required the offense to move from the 20-yard line into field goal range with 1:13 on the clock and no timeouts. The 47-yarder was kicked after a spike stopped the clock with five seconds remaining. Hartley hit from 53 on a "Mayday" attempt on which the field goal team was rushed onto the field from the sideline following a completion and the snap barely beat the expiring clock … QB Landry Jones relieved three snaps into the first drive after Roethlisberger got sand in his eye, presumably off the glove of Jarvis Jones. Landry Jones directed the second drive … P Brad Wing held for the first attempt and P Jordan Berry, who had held for both of Hartley's field goals in Jacksonville, was used on the second.

HOUSEKEEPING: WR David Nelson, WR C.J. Goodwin, RB Josh Harris, S Ross Ventrone, TE Heath Miller, TE Cameron Clear, LB Lawrence Timmons and LB Vince Williams were among the players who didn't practice or didn't participate fully due to an injury or a coach's decision.

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