This always tends to happen and as Coach Tomlin says it's probably a 'necessary evil.' As tough as competition is in the NFL, tempers are going to flare up and fights will break out and that was the case yesterday as two separate bouts broke out while the Steelers were at their indoor practice facility. The participants were Willie Colon and Lawrence Timmons in the first showdown and Trai Essex and Arnold Harrison in the second. Neither scuffle amount to much and were over nearly as soon as they started. After practice Coach T talked about the scuffles:
"Practice broke out into a fight," said head coach Mike Tomlin afterwards. "You know, the competition is good, but the level of intensity has to be there if we want to get better.
"You have to understand professional etiquette; that's what we talked about after practice. These kinds of things have to happen as we develop our football team because it gives us a venue to address them, and why we do what it is that we do and how we approach what it is that we do.
"You don't like to see it happen, but it's a necessary evil. I'm glad that it happened, we addressed it and move on."
- In some actual football related news, Larry Foote sat out yesterday with a sore neck and that of course means that Timmons took all the reps the first group. I've always been a Foote fan but I really hope that Timmons can beat him out this preseason.
- Jim Wexell has been giving some pretty detailed OTA reports and some of the news encouraging and some it 'head-scratching' to say the least. I keep trying to move past the OL, but I just couldn't help myself when he mentioned that with the return of Marvel Smith yesterday, the starting lineup was Smith, Chris K, Mahan, Stapleton and Colon (Simmons isn't practicing yet). For what it's worth it looks like the starting five is different almost every day, but for what it's worth, when Mahan is there he runs with the first group. I did find one practice that had Essex running at guard though so it looks like they're trying to throw as much as they can against the wall and we'll see what sticks.
- There's also random notes of various players who have looked good at one time or another. Dallas Baker is a name that is in every report for either making a great catch or beating William Gay deep. Travis Williams (undrafted corner from East Carolina) is a youngster that Wexell thinks is worth keeping an eye on. He's also excited about Moore's versatility (compares to Kevin Faulk) and says the 10 pounds that Russell put on seem to help him quite a bit. Don't worry though Wexell also mentions how 'studly' Mendenhall looks at everything he's done so far. In addition to Simmons and Foote sitting out Ryan McBean, Deshea Townsend, Traivs Kirschke, Najeh Davenport, Willie Parker and Santonio Holmes were all sidelined with various bumps and bruises. It too early for someone to seriously worry about their job but if I was Davenport I don't think I'd let some minor bump/bruise keep me from the field considering all the praise we're hearing on the younger backs.
- In an earlier practice from last week, Timmons talks about LeBeau's new wrinkle for the dime defense that includes Timmons and Farrior as the inside backers. During that same practice they worked on punt returns with the returners going in this order: Reid, Moore, Holmes, Marion, Bloom, and Travis Williams. Wexell also mentions Tony Hills getting beaten badly by Silverback, although that's a heck of an assignment for the rookie. Anthony Smith is working at strong safety behind Tyrone Carter while Grant Mason is taking the second string reps at free safety behind Clark.
Thoughts about OTA's so far? Anyone run across any other news?
I ran across a video (that you can watch here) that left me pretty perplexed. The Las Vegas PD was simulating crashes involving multiple vehicles and also accidents involving a pedestrian earlier this week, but for some reason they but a Ben Roethlisberger jersey on the pedestrian. I don't know what was more off setting, the idea that putting a jersey on a crash test dummy or the reporters skating around the mention of it.