Afternoon notes

That day off from practice didn't seem to help Kyle Boller and -- to a lesser degree -- Troy Smith that much this afternoon. Full-team drills started with rookie linebacker Jameel McClain getting past left offensive tackle Chad Slaughter for what would have been a quick and easy sack of Boller.

On the ensuing play, Smith badly overthrew wide receiver Mark Clayton, and the ball was nearly intercepted by rookie safety Haruki Nakamura, who promptly banged out 10 push-ups on the sidelines. The very next play, Boller's pass to tight end Adam Bergen was picked off by cornerback David Pittman, who took the football 40 yards to the end zone.


The quarterbacks settled down and seemingly rediscovered their rhythm, but the beginning wasn't pretty.

Other observations:


• Clayton (sprained right shoulder), fullback Justin Green (left knee) and running back Cory Ross (undisclosed) returned to practice, but tight end Todd Heap (right calf) and running back Willis McGahee (left knee) were two of the most notable absences.

Offensive tackles Adam Terry (sprained left ankle) and Jared Gaither (right ankle), linebackers Edgar Jones (concussion and right leg) and Dan Cody (right foot) and defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (left knee) were also absent from practice.

Practicing on a limited basis or on their own were: Defensive tackles Haloti Ngata (sprained right medial collateral ligament) and Justin Bannan (undisclosed), tight ends Daniel Wilcox (toe) and Aaron Walker (left knee), safety Ed Reed (shoulder), wide receiver Demetrius Williams (lower left leg) and rookie offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (right knee).

• Funniest moment of practice occurred with the linebackers taking part in an interceptions drill with position coach Greg Mattison. Players who dropped the football had to complete 20 push-ups. Nick Greisen, Jarret Johnson and Gary Stills each punched out push-ups.

I may have misheard the next part, but I thought Mattison pledged to do 80 push-ups if Greisen caught the next pass with one hand. Mattison looked like Brett Favre as he zipped the pass to Greisen's left. Mattison then hurled another football towards Greisen's right, and the linebacker got his hand on the ball before it fell to the turf.