Steelers training camp notes

August, 5, 2008
8/05/08
9:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their second day of practice this week with a morning session followed by a night practice that wrapped up around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Here were some observations:

  • Cornerback Bryant McFadden is working with the first team this week, because Deshea Townsend is sitting out of practice with a groin injury. McFadden had a banner practice in the evening, where he recorded an interception off quarterback Charlie Batch and a pass breakup against tight end Heath Miller in team drills.
  • Overall the quarterbacks struggled Tuesday. The coaches gave starter Ben Roethlisberger a light day of practice by leaving him out of team drills, and Batch and rookie Dennis Dixon combined to throw four interceptions.

"We've been talking about being opportunistic on defense with catching balls, and that's a good sign," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "But at the same time, we can't be as careless with the football on offense at the quarterback position ...Four interceptions in practice is unacceptable."

  • Newly-acquired punter Paul Ernster made some nice punts in replacement of the injured Daniel Sepulveda (knee). He had three punts Tuesday of 50-plus yards.
  • During some down time in practice, Roethlisberger asked a photographer if he could borrow their camera to take some live shots of special teams. Teammate and defensive end Brett Keisel then jumped in front of the tri-pod.

"Oh, no," Roethlisberger said as he jumped back from the lens. "That is waaaay too scary."

  • Notable players who returned to practice from injury Tuesday included starting offensive guard Kendall Simmons (shoulder), linebacker James Harrison (groin) and rookie receiver Limas Sweed (hamstring).

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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