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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Early ending, Parker sits out

All the pressure was on Jeff Reed this afternoon as head coach Mike Tomlin told him Monday night that he would end practice about 45 minutes early Tuesday afternoon if Reed could make a 42-yard field goal.

The Pittsburgh Steelers placekicker did not let his teammates down, nailing the 42-yarder despite plenty of heckling from defensive players Troy Polamalu and Deshea Townsend.

Reed was mobbed by all 70 or so teammates after making the kick with chants of, “Reed, Reed, Reed,” breaking out.

The coach is getting soft in this second week of practice. That's a skipped morning session and three others cut early since the first week of boot camp.

The big news of the day was that running back Willie Parker joined those who were out of practice. Though Tomlin said the day off was just for rest, Parker did have a wrap on his left knee. Parker said it was no big deal, however.

Also sitting out practice were defensive ends Travis Kirshke and Chris Hoke, linebackers Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison and Derek Rehage, and offensive lineman Darnell Stapleton, who hyperextended his knee Monday.

With Parker out, the pecking order at running back went Najeh Davenport, Carey Davis, Kevan Barlow, Verron Haynes, Gary Russell, Larry Croom and John Kuhn. Kuhn did, however, work as the second-team fullback behind Dan Kreider.

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