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Big Ben in a rush to get passing

FootballPittsburgh SteelersSuper BowlHines WardBen RoethlisbergerJames Farrior

Ben Roethlisberger is having no trouble with the two-a-day practices at the Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp. His throwing arm is.

Roethlisberger missed some deep throws he felt he should have completed Monday, then said his head is ahead of his right arm three days into camp.

"I think I have a pick (interception) every day in practice because my arm's not where I want it to be yet and I'm trying to make the throws that I can make later in the year," Roethlisberger said.

Despite winning a second Super Bowl in four seasons, Roethlisberger had a down season statistically a year ago — with 17 touchdown passes, compared to 32 the season before — and the Steelers want to get the deep pass back into their offense.

Partly for that reason, Roethlisberger didn't throw much before practice started Saturday.

"I don't want it to get worn down late in the year," Roethlisberger said following the second of two Monday practices. "It takes me a few days to get into it. Hopefully by Wednesday I'll be getting better and by the weekend it'll be in good form."

The Steelers may have more speed at receiver than they've had for several seasons, with rookie Mike Wallace added to Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes and second-year receiver Limas Sweed. That encourages Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

"We've got a lot of guys who can do that, stretch the field — obviously we know Santonio can do that," Roethlisberger said. "Sweed can stretch the field, Mike is doing a great job of getting down the field, now he needs to catch the ball when he gets down there."

Coach Mike Tomlin, pleased with his team's intensity on a sunny, warm day but unhappy with part of practice, isn't worried about Roethlisberger's arm.

"We misconnected on a couple of deep balls, but it didn't look like it had anything to do with arm strength," he said.

What bothered Tomlin were several incidents of pushing and shoving after a play and some drills not being properly run.

"We have to develop our practice etiquette and professionalism, just like we have to do our assignments," he said.

NOTES: WR Hines Ward, who had shoulder surgery in February, missed practice for the second day in a row, but Tomlin said he wasn't injured. Several other players who are in their 30s, including LB James Farrior, DE Travis Kirschke, and CB Deshea Townsend, also were allowed to skip the morning practice. ... Roethlisberger said he's in a rush to get his arm ready because Arians "is adding something new every day." ... Roethlisberger again did not discuss the civil lawsuit filed against him in Nevada last month. On Saturday, he said he will answer only football-related questions.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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