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Steelers Notebook: Grateful Scott glad to be back on field after missing all '98

Saturday, April 24, 1999

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

Chad Scott stepped in front of a pass yesterday and intercepted it at Pitt's Cost Center. Most important, when the Steelers cornerback's feet landed on the turf, nothing unusual happened.

The last time he did that, the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee snapped and Scott missed the entire 1998 season.

The injury occurred May 12 at a volunteer coaching session at Three Rivers Stadium with no pads and no hitting. It came after Scott put in a good rookie season at cornerback and it had a ripple effect. Because of the injury, Carnell Lake moved from strong safety to cornerback and did not make the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1994. Lee Flowers got his chance to start at Lake's old spot and played well enough to earn a $10 million contract in February.

Yesterday, Scott was merely happy to get back onto the field with his teammates, even if they did not wear pads.

"I did everything, I did it all," Scott said. "I played man-to-man coverage, had a little interception, so I felt pretty good about that. I'm doing well. I'm not going to say I'm 100 percent yet because I haven't done it yet. This is my first practice after a whole year. I felt good about that and I'm going to keep building on it, take one day at a time."

Farris back on left side

You could pardon rookie Kris Farris if he did not know his left from his right yesterday. He played four years at left tackle for UCLA, but when the Steelers drafted him in the third round last Saturday, they told him he would play right tackle.

But yesterday, in the first day of practices at their minicamp, they put Farris at left tackle.

"I was practicing it all week," Farris said of his right-hand stance, "but then I came here and they said 'left tackle.'"

The Steelers changed their plans because they signed another right tackle -- unrestricted free agent Anthony Brown from the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown and second-year man Chris Conrad will compete for the starting job at right tackle.

The 6-foot-8 Farris eventually could get a shot on the right side if either of those two falter, but for now he will serve as Wayne Gandy's backup. Gandy signed a four-year, $14 million contract as a free agent from the Cardinals before the draft.

Steelers were patsies

Anthony Brown started at guard for the Bengals when they beat the Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium, 25-24, Dec. 20. It gave Cincinnati a two-game sweep of the Steelers. The Bengals won only one other game.

"If it wasn't for the Steelers," Brown said, "we would have been really, really hurting. But I'm here to help them win two games against Cincinnati."

Lake likes Jaguars

Former Steelers safety Carnell Lake went through his first minicamp with Jacksonville yesterday and said it was different from his practices here.

"A little more up-tempo," Lake said, "definitely more structured. What I liked about it most was the energy level was high."

Lake praised the Jaguars' facilities.

"It's different. This is the first time in 10 years I've been anywhere else. This is a country club compared to the facilities back in Pittsburgh. When you look at the weight room and the rehab facilities, all the facilities to get in shape and stay healthy, that does make the difference.

"It was beautiful and warm and Donovin Darius said this is how it is in December too. It's nice."

Quick slants

The NFL altered its policy on the date when rookies are permitted to begin working out at their team's facilities. Previously, no rookie could work out before June 1, even if he had graduated from college. This year, however, any rookie whose school has taken its finals or whose tests are completed for the semester may begin working out with his new team May 16. The policy includes juniors ... The Steelers moved both practices to the Cost Center because of rain.



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