Tuesday was a good day for the Steelers to get a lot of younger guys some work as a number of vets took off practice today.
One who didn't was defensive end Brett Keisel, who was back on the practice field for the first time in a few weeks after sitting out with a calf injury.
Willie Parker also went through some team drills for the first time since suffering a knee injury and it appears he'll be ready to go in Cincinnati in two weeks.
© As I said after the game at Jacksonville, Jeff Reed's calf injury isn't a big deal. Mike Tomlin said today that he expects Reed to be ready to go at Cincinnati - at least on PATs and field goals. They may have Mitch Berger – or somebody else – handle kickoffs.
Tomlin said Reed could have kicked a field goal at the end of the game in Jacksonville if needed. We'll never know.
So much for the TV wonks making a big deal out of that one.
© Tomlin said he expects Ben Roethlisberger to be at or nearly at 100 percent when the Steelers come out of their bye week.
© His reasoning for going with Trai Essex over Max Starks after Marvel Smith went down with cramps was because they felt Essex was better suited to handle Quentin Groves in pass pro than Starks.
The Jaguars knew the Steelers would be passing pretty much on every down and the coaching staff reasoned that Essex's foot speed would be better served to keep Groves at bay rather than Starks' size.
Tomlin said Starks is still the team's No. 3 tackle.
© Darnell Stapleton will continue to start at right guard.