Tomlin puts team on the clock

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By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com  The rain came fast and hard at Steelers practice on Wednesday afternoon, but that didn't slow down the black and gold as they worked on the two-minute drill through the raindrops.
 
"We need to learn how to execute in all environments and circumstance so it provided us an opportunity to do that here this afternoon," said head coach Mike Tomlin of working through the weather. "We executed some two-minute football; it was a special situation today. Saw good things from both sides in regards to that."

To be specific Tomlin had the clock set at 2:37 for the drill, the exact amount of time that was on the clock when Ben Roethlisberger executed the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLIII.
 
"We wanted to work in a vertical field," said Tomlin. "I put 2:37 on the clock and put the ball minus-18 – that may sound familiar to some of you guys. I think those were the circumstances that we had in Florida a few months back."
 
"I wanted to incorporate the two-minute element into the drill. You know we have to acknowledge when we get a clock stoppage in those situations, work around that offensively and defensively. I just wanted to back up the vertical field and add that element to the drill, which we hadn't done till this point."
 
Quarterback Dennis Dixon got some work during the drill and Tomlin was pleased with his performance, as well as the progress he is making in his second season.

"He did pretty well," said Tomlin. "Of course you saw him move the offense down the field. He was doing some good things, he has had some good days of course he has had some moments. It's all part of the process. He's growing like a lot of the other ones."

Final Countdown: Tomlin said that there is nothing special on the agenda for practice on Thursday, the last practice of training camp.

The team has two practices, with the afternoon practice at 2:55 p.m. being the final one open to the public.

Talking hockey: Tomlin spent time with Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma before practice and shared the experience of coming off a world championship with him.

"We spent a few minutes and you know of course we went through some of the issues," said Tomlin. "I'm a little further down the road than he is. He is still basking in the glow of it all. But it's good to see those guys. You know I'm a big supporter of those guys, and it was good to visit and compare notes from time to time."

Click for more from the Penguins visit and photos.

Injury Update: Rookie running back Frank Summers was the only injury note from the day as he was bothered by a hamstring. Linebacker James Harrison missed practice with a stomach virus which Tomlin said "shouldn't be major."


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