The heat index approached 100 here at St. Vincent College Tuesday afternoon.
And as the heat rose, so did the tempers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, most notably for rookie offensive tackle Willie Colon and linebacker Clark Haggans.
During one-on-one pass rushing drills between the offensive linemen and the linebacker and defensive ends, Colon took umbrage to Haggans knocking his helmet off and the two had a verbal sparring session and staredown. In fact, Haggans jumped back up to the line and wanted another go with the rookie before he was sent to the end of the line by the coaching staff.
Colon continued to stare at Haggans, repeatedly asking him if he wanted to “dance.” And as Haggans was called over to another drill, Colon blew him a kiss as the linebacker ran off to the other field.
The near-fight punctuated an otherwise lackluster practice that seems to be leading up to Wednesday night’s session at Latrobe High School, which will include the camp’s first goal-line drill.
The highlight of the session was supposed to be the backs on backers pass rushing drill that was won by the offense by an 8-6 margin. It wasn't nearly as spirited even as it usually is, however.
James Harrison opened by bull-rushing Duce Staley before Heath Miller evened things up by stoning James Farrior.
Willie Parker then held his own against Larry Foote and Dan Kreider stood up Haggans.
Verron Haynes, easily the best blocker among the running backs outside of Kreider, stuffed Arnold Harrison, while Cedric Humes beat Rian Walllace.
Other offensive winners included Charles Davis, Staley - in his second-go around with Lee Vickers – and Parker over Haggans.
Malcolm Postell had no problem with Doug Easlick, while Richard Seigler bull-rushed Branden Joe right into the quarterback.
Harrison faked the bull rush and just went around Miller, while Ronald Stanley finished things off by just getting by Kreider.
It was an up-and-down day for Ricardo Colclough. Working at punt returner, he muffed a pair of punts.
But later in the practice, he made a nice interception on a Charlie Batch pass attempt and nearly had another pick from Ben Roethlisberger later.
Roethlisberger looked a little better throwing the ball today, but still isn’t cutting it loose with full steam.
Defensive end Travis Kirshke and Kreider were back in action after missing practice Monday, but Santonio Holmes sat out with his minor hamstring strain. Mike Kudla (hamstring), Jerame Tuman (illness) and Joey Porter (knee) also sat out, while Walter Young was activated off the PUP list and saw his first action.