Practice report: Steelers


Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
TAMPA, Fla. -- On behalf of the Pro Football Writers of America, Peter King of Sports Illustrated was allowed to watch the full practice of the Pittsburgh Steelers to provide a pool report.

Here is a healthy portion of what King wrote:

The team worked without pads on a beautiful Florida afternoon -- 77 degrees, sunny skies, with 15 mph winds from the south -- on the USF campus north of downtown Tampa. Second-year coach Mike Tomlin began the one hour, 58-minute session with a shout of "Let's go to work, men," and pronounced himself satisfied with the work on what Steeler observers said was the nicest outdoor practice day the team has had since October.

"It was a good start to our week," Tomlin said after practice. "We practiced fast, and I thought we practiced aggressively. But it's like I say to the team after every Wednesday practice: It's a good start, but we've got to be better tomorrow."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has had intermittent shoulder problems during the season, looked sharp and threw several tight, long spirals, including one bullet to Santonio Holmes through the wind. Running back Willie Parker, after battling shoulder and knee problems during the season, ran fast and confidently.