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Practice Notes: Steelers Game Planning For Lions, ‘Ham’ at OLB

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Steelers OLB Hamilcar Rashed

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers continued to prepare for Sunday’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions in a game week-like setup, and that has meant meant scout teams operating on both sides of the ball.

With so many rookies and new players on the squad, the scout-team role can be tough to pick up for some that haven’t done it in a long time or perhaps ever, but Tomlin was complimentary of those preparatory squads.

“I was really appreciative of the card units. I told the team that after practice. Our work is really kind of defined by the quality, detail and competitiveness of the looks that we get. I really like the competitive spirit and the playmaking displayed by the show teams. I think it challenges us all to get better. It creates the type of environment that we need to keep this train moving.”

HAMMING IT UP

During a 1 on 1 offense vs. defense drill on Friday, Tomlin called out Steelers outside linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. But he didn’t call him by his given name, which is pronounced HAM-ul-cuh Ra-SHEED.

Instead, Tomlin simply referred to the second-year pro as “Ham.” Rashed said that’s been a common nickname of his over the years, especially if someone doesn’t know how to pronounce his name. But he’s OK with it being his nickname in Pittsburgh.

Steelers fans should also be pretty comfortable with an outside linebacker named Ham, after Hall of Famer Jack Ham played the position here from 1971-82.

NEW GUY

The Steelers brought in new safety Elijah Riley on Wednesday. He made his Steelers Practice debut on Thursday and Tomlin explained his reasoning for adding to the team’s secondary depth at this late juncture.

“We get the best collective we can in this process in an effort to find the best 53,” Tomlin said. “It’s just a function of business this time of year.”

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WHAT’S IN A NUMBER?

Even after cutting 10 players from the preseason roster, the Steelers have several duplicate numbers, but only one pair of duplicate numbers are both occupied by current members of the team’s projected starting lineup.

Tackle Dan Moore Jr. and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi are both wearing No. 65. Moore wore the jersey in Pittsburgh last year as rookie. Ogunjobi has worn it his entire NFL career, four years with the Cleveland Browns and one year with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ogunjobi said there haven’t been any discussion between him and Moore yet about who will get to keep the number, saying he’ll wait until after the preseason to bring it up. But he does have a special connection to 65.

“It was my mom’s birth year,” he said. “I wore it all the way through high school and college and I was also the 65th pick in the draft. So it ended up being my number.”

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