In the morning session on Saturday, punter Daniel Sepulveda was showing why he was sorely missed last season. Sepulveda was booming some punts past the return men. Offensive lineman, Darnell Stapleton, who was noted on Friday as having knee swelling, worked at center with the first team. Trai Essex worked at right guard with the starters as well. First round draft pick, Ziggy Hood, worked with the third team at the left end spot. Rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis and second year running back Rashard Mendenhall looking good early.
On the injury front, both Troy Polamalu and Deshea Townsend practiced despite being hampered by sore hamstrings. Tight end Heath Miller and starting center Justin Hartwig did not work on Saturday as expected. Correction: Miller caught balls in tight end drills. More on the afternoon session later.
In the Saturday afternoon practice session, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger showed a little rust throwing a couple of interceptions today, one that bounced of the hands of Santonio Holmes and safety Ryan Clark intercepted. Backup Charlie Batch looked bad today. Running backs Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall looked good as the offense worked mostly on the screen game. Rookie offensive lineman Kraig Urbik struggled today especially in one on one drills as did second year tackle Tony Hills. Hills was beat a ton today. Urbik just looked like a rookie.
Defensively, the unit looked fine. Safety Troy Polamalu practiced very cautiously today coming off of hamstring problems. Linebacker Bruce Davis was inconsistent today. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons suffered from cramps during the backs on backers drills. First round defensive end Ziggy Hood looked good today. Injury wise, Running back Isaac Redman and offensive lineman Doug Legursky also developed cramps in the afternoon session and did not finish.