QB or not QB

LATROBE _ With Ben Roethlisberger participating in some but not all of the drills, the Steelers' rotation and depth at quarterback was on stage today at Saint Vincent College

Landry Jones opened an 11-on-11 "Special Category-Red Zone" period with a 20-yard fade for a touchdown to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Josh Dobbs took over after six snaps and threw touchdown passes to wide receiver James Washington and wide receiver Marcus Tucker. Washington reached back for a ball that had been thrown behind him and made a one-handed, left-handed grab. Tucker completed a combat catch on a slant despite persistent coverage from defensive back Cam Sutton.

Mason Rudolph eventually came on and handed off twice. On his third and final snap, Rudolph dropped back to pass but had the ball knocked from his grasp by linebacker Keith Kelsey.

In the final 11-on-11 period of the day, Jones connected with wide receiver Justin Hunter for a TD on a slant and Dobbs threw two interceptions in a span of three snaps (a pick-six by safety Jordan Dangerfield and a sideline INT by cornerback Brian Allen on which Dobbs may or may not have been able to make a tackle on the return had it been a tackling period).

Rudolph was picked off in a 7-on-7 "Red Zone" period when he overthrew crossing wide receiver Trey Griffey and the ball wound up in the hands of defensive back Mike Hilton in the back of the end zone. Rudolph also hit wide receiver Quadree Henderson for a touchdown on a slant in the drill.

That rotation and depth at the quarterback position remains subject to change.

"You know, oftentimes that position is defined by what happens in stadiums, and appropriately so," head coach Mike Tomlin observed.

Stay tuned for the preseason games.

MEDICAL FILE: Safety Sean Davis (groin), safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring), fullback Roosevelt Nix (undisclosed), offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva (undisclosed), wide receiver Antonio Brown (undisclosed), tight end Vance McDonald (foot), sand outside linebacker T.J. Watt didn't do any 11-on-11 work.

Tucker (ankle) didn't finish practice.

"A lot of day-to-day type things," Tomlin said. "We're thankful for that."

Cornerback Artie Burns returned to practice, as did Washington, who had exited early on Wednesday.

ICE STATION ZEBRA: Four officials (including three who are listed on the NFL officials roster) were on campus for a second consecutive day, an annual occurrence for the purpose of updating players, coaches and media on rules changes and points of emphasis.

"Tackle football, officials are working, they're throwing flags," Tomlin announced prior to "Seven Shots."

Two flags for pass interference were thrown against cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on an incompletion to wide receiver Damoun Patterson in the end zone.

Interaction with the players went beyond the enforcing of the rules. Quick conversations regularly took place after reps, presumably to answer players' inquiries or to inform them as to what was or wasn't called and why.

There was also a lot of complaining.

Defensive players not participating in a rep during a 1-on-1 wide receivers/defensive backs drill barked loudly and often about offensive pass interference not being called. When an offensive pass interference flag was eventually thrown in 11-on-11 play, defensive end Cam Heyward raised both arms and roared his approval.

Later in the practice Roethlisberger responded to another pass interference call on the offense by complaining to field judge Dale Shaw, "When there's a rules emphasis you guys feel like you need to call it all the time."

Finally, Roethlisberger reacted to a non-call on a completion by challenging Shaw to "call another offensive P.I."

EXTRA POINTS: The defense won "Seven Shots" by a 4-3 count and has won six of the practice-opening, two-point conversion/short-yardage drills in a row … Inside linebacker Jon Bostic lined up next to inside linebacker Vince Williams with the first-team defense at the outset of every 11-on-11 period … The Steelers dabbled for the second day in a row with a defense that featured no inside linebackers and seven defensive backs (Burns, Joe Haden, Hilton, Terrell Edmunds, Nat Berhe, Sutton and Marcus Allen) … The roster shuffled with the signings of tight end Bucky Harris and offensive lineman Kyle Meadows. Linebacker Darnell Leslie was waived and tight end Ryan Malleck was waived/injured … The first true fight of camp (punches thrown) took place between defensive tackle Dan McCullers and center Parker Collins. Outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo and offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor had scuffled (pushing and shoving) on Saturday.

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