Surgery for Taylor; Cotchery practices

It was back to work for the Steelers on Sunday afternoon, but there were several players noticeably absent from practice, including cornerback Ike Taylor.

Taylor was sporting a cast on his broken left thumb suffered early on against the Redskins on Friday night.

"Ike is going to get his thumb fixed on Tuesday," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "He's going to have surgery so we'll get him back out here quickly, I'm sure. I'm sure he'll be stabilized in some form or fashion after the surgery is complete."

Neither Tomlin nor Taylor offered a timetable on the injury, waiting to see how surgery goes, but Taylor is confident they will find a way for him to play with the injury.

"It's all good. I don't think you ever play 100 percent during the season," said Taylor. "We are going to figure something out. I am sure they have something back there brewing."

Taylor believes he suffered the injury on the second play of the game, but doesn't recall what exactly happened.

"You feel pain but you don't think about it when you are on the field," said Taylor. "I told the doctor to look at it. He was like, yeah get out of there.

"It was just a freak accident. I can't explain it. I don't know how I did it. You don't think about pain during the game."


Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery made his debut at Steelers practice on Sunday afternoon and immediately felt comfortable in his new surroundings.

"It's a fresh start. It's a great atmosphere," said Cotchery. "I am happy to be here. Everyone is tight. Everyone is close here. It's easy to work in that atmosphere. You are going to get better.

"I was talking to Ryan Clark earlier and I was telling him I used to watch the (Steelers) interviews and I would hear guys talk about we do things a certain way over here. I wondered what they were talking about. I came here on my visit and I got it.

"These guys in the locker room, I get it. I see what everyone is talking about. It's such a well-respected organization and you get it as soon as you walk through the door."

Cotchery immediately got into the flow of things with the ball thrown his way several times during practice.

"He moved around well," said Tomlin. "Of course we've been microwaving him, if you will, from an assignment standpoint. He's a veteran guy and has eight years in the league. So we expect him to catch up pretty quickly."

Cotchery was one of a handful of players who spent time after practice getting a little extra work in.

"You are a rookie all over again," said Cotchery of learning things. "You don't go out and play like a rookie, but you are learning new information, you are in a new environment and you have to respond well to it. You have to stay in the playbook. I am just trying to ask everybody questions and get it on the fly and make plays.

"I was having a blast. The whole playbook is being thrown at me right now but that is good. I need to be overloaded with information so I can go out and play. It was good to be on the field with these guys. I understand what is going on here. It's something special so I am glad to be a part of it."

Cotchery was brought in to add experience to a position where Hines Ward and third-year receiver Mike Wallace are joined by second-year players Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

"He adds depth. He is a great wide out," said Ward. "He has been making plays every since he has been in the league. We really don't have a lot of experience. Guys are having a good camp; we are just adding that extra veteran guy to be there. He definitely adds strength."

Cotchery asked to be released from the Jets this year, wanting a new start and feeling like it was time to move on. He first visited with the Steelers, then the Baltimore Ravens, before signing with the Steelers.

"I am here to help this team get to the Super Bowl and win it. The Steelers are contending every year. I want to come in here and make some plays and win the Super Bowl.

"I came to play for a Super Bowl contender. But the atmosphere, the way they handle their guys here. It's something I need at this time. This is the best for me to thrive in as a person and player."

Cotchery said he is looking forward to playing with Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of his new teammates and was excited about day one.

"I didn't sleep much last night," said Cotchery. "I was looking forward to putting on the black and yellow. It's an exciting time for me."


Things got a little feisty in practice with offensive tackle Jonathan Scott and defensive end Cameron Heyward mixing things up, getting into a little scuffle at the end of play that teammates had to break-up.

"It's part of the game," said Heyward. "We are going to battle out here. Sometimes we are going to have guys getting after each other. It's all in fun. We still love each other off the field."


Tomlin on injuries: "We have a number of guys that are in the process of working themselves into participation in different forms and fashions. A lot of guys participating in individuals: Chris Kemoeatu, Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown and others. We'll just continue to march those guys back. Some of the new injuries: Shaun Suisham had an illness; Brett Keisel sustained an ankle injury in the game; Arnaz Battle's knee is swollen; Aaron Smith's knee is swollen as well. Baron Batch is scheduled to get his surgery on Wednesday. Other than those things, we're moving forward."


The Steelers will hold two more open practices before breaking camp. They will have practice at St. Vincent College on Monday, Aug. 15 and Tuesday, Aug. 16 with both practices starting at 2:55 p.m.

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