Team development process continues at camp

After a few days where players got into scuffles during practice, the hitting on Wednesday was contained to what went on in drills, which Coach Mike Tomlin has been mixing up every day.

Practices over the last few days have included backs-on-backers and offensive line against defensive line. Other drills took center stage on a hot, but dry, day at St. Vincent College.

"We're just continuing on with the team development process," said Tomlin. "We put them in some situations, including linebackers versus tight ends and running backs in coverage. In addition, we did a few other things such as wide receivers versus defensive backs, releases.

"But overall it was good work. We'll evaluate it this evening and push forward as we continue our week."

Tomlin has been successful so far with the Steelers because he knows how to deal with his players. He knows the right buttons to push and when to push them.

So it came as no surprise the reason linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who battled a hamstring injury last season, got the day off of practice on Wednesday was to give him a rest as preventative medicine. Tomlin knows that resting players now will pay dividends down the road.

"We gave Woodley the day off to take care of his knee and stay ahead of the curve," said Tomlin. "We're taking steps to preserve some of the guys that have a history of having a tough time dealing with training camp type things. We were being proactive with LaMarr Woodley today, same as Emmanuel Sanders the other day.

"Heath Miller's injury took care of itself because it was an ankle injury. Those are some of the guys that have a history with training camp being problematic sometimes. I want to take care of them if I can."

On the injury front cornerback Damon Cromartie-Smith came off the PUP list on Wednesday.

Tomlin also provided the following injury update: "There are a few minor injuries. John Clay has a right groin injury. Chris Rainey had a heat related illness. He should be fine."

The Steelers have an afternoon practice on Thursday, Aug. 2 at St. Vincent College beginning at 2:55 p.m. that is open to the public. On Friday the team will hold practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. There is a charge for Friday's practice.

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