Tomlin: 'It's their job to keep them out'

LATROBE, Pa. – The Steelers went through an intense practice on Saturday, capping it off with one of the most-spirited drills in training camp – the goal line.

Both sides brought energy, but in the end it was dead even with the offense putting up three scores and the defense coming up with three big stops.

The offense came out with an unconventional play action pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Matt Spaeth for a touchdown on the first play, something that defensive players normally aren't fond of.

"I don't care what they like. It's their job to keep them out," said Coach Mike Tomlin afterwards.

Tomlin utilized a few young running backs in the drill, including, Josh Harris, Tauren Poole and Miguel Maysonet.

"What better way to get to know them and that's what it's about," said Tomlin. "I think one thing the National Football League proves to all of us is that backs explode onto the scene every year and they come in different forms, free agents and so forth. What better way to get to know some of those guys and to put them in a situation like that and give them an opportunity to show what they're capable of."

Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steeler's seventh day of Training Camp.

Poole got the offense on the board again when he broke around left end for the score, while Maurkice Pouncey and Hebron Fangupo mixed it up after the play.

In what seems to becoming commonplace, Vince Williams came up with another big hit, stopping Maysonet in his tracks. Williams had a huge hit earlier in practice on Harris during team drills.

"I just feel that is what football is about," said Williams. "I love the contact. We all do really. That is just what I like to do. I try to bring that to the game. I love the energy. I love football. I try to play hard whenever I get the chance to."

Tomlin likes the energy that Williams' brings, stating it's something that has been a part of his game since college.

"Vince is one of those guys. He has that distinguishing characteristic," said Tomlin. "He had it at Florida State and it continues. It's a good thing to build the rest of his game around. When you snap the ball he's ready to play. He brings a great deal of emotion and intensity to his work."

Harris capped the scoring off with a touchdown up the middle, but the drill came to a 3-3 draw after a fumbled handoff on the final play.

Tomlin gave NT Steve McLendon and TE Heath Miller the day off, something he has been doing with players to keep them fresh through camp. He also confirmed that WR Darrius Heyward-Bey is dealing with a concussion.

Safety Mike Mitchell, who has been out since the start of camp with a groin injury, is making progress.

"He had another good workout today," said Tomlin. "Like those others I've mentioned that we've been talking about, he's taken significant steps (and) getting closer. We'll see what he looks like tomorrow."

The Steelers will hold an afternoon practice on Sunday, Aug. 3 and Monday, Aug. 4 at 2:55 p.m. at Saint Vincent College.

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