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Steelers Notebook: Practices closed with move to South Side

Saturday, August 21, 1999

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When the Steelers switch their training camp to the South Side this week, practices will be closed to the public.

 
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Greg Lomax breaks a tackle by Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Eric England enroute to a 40-yard gain in the second half of the preseason game at Charlotte. On the left is Steelers tight end Matt Cushing. (Peter Diana, Post-Gazette) 

Usually, the fourth week of training camp practices would be open but they also would have been held at St. Vincent College. Because the season openers were moved back to Sept. 12, training camp started later, and the Steelers had to vacate St. Vincent earlier because of incoming students.

No parking is available at the Steelers' new training site on the South Side because only the fields have been installed and construction is ongoing.

Pittsburgh connections

Two of Carolina's backup quarterbacks have Pittsburgh connections. Steve Bono, who made it as a strike quarterback with the Steelers in 1987 and played two seasons for them, and rookie Matt Lytle of Pitt are among the five quarterbacks for the Panthers.

But then there are many connections between the two teams. Carolina also has defensive end Sean Gilbert from Pitt. Former Steelers linebackers Kevin Greene and Donta Jones are competing against each other at strong-side linebacker.

Former Pitt player and Steelers coach Hal Hunter serves as Carolina's pro personnel coordinator, and Pittsburgh native Jack Bushofsky is the Panthers' director of player personnel. Former Pitt coaches Scott O'Brien (special teams), Tony Wise (offensive line) and Bob Valesente (defensive backs) and are on Carolina's staff. Valesente also coached with the Steelers under Chuck Noll.

Punt, pass and kick

Three of the better plays the Steelers executed in the first half last night came on a punt, a pass and a kick.

Josh Miller continued his assault on the new K balls for kickers when he punted one 49 yards, angled it for the sideline and ran off the field triumphantly after Carolina's Iheanyi Uwaezuoke caught it and his momentum carried him out at the 6.

The pass came when Kordell Stewart threaded the ball through two defensive backs and into the hands of rookie Troy Edwards for an 18-yard gain.

The kick came when rookie Kris Brown intentially topped the ball on a kickoff for an onside kick that John Fiala recovered 10 yards away, the legal limit.

Extended play

The Steelers stayed with their first-team defense into the second quarter with two changes -- Fiala replaced Earl Holmes at inside linebacker and Jeremy Staat took Joel Steed's place at nose tackle.

Halfback Richard Huntley replaced rookie Amos Zereoue with 10:48 left in the second quarter, and center Roger Duffy also joined the first-team offense in place of Jim Sweeney.

Quick snaps

Longtime NFL official Dale Hamer, a Murrysville resident, worked his first Steelers game in eight years last night. Hamer is a head linesman.



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