Tomlin says Roethlisberger may play more against Redskins

LATROBE, Pa. -- Ben Roethlisberger hopes to play more against Washington on Saturday night than the three series he was on the field for during the Pittsburgh Steelers' first two exhibition games.

Coach Mike Tomlin's reaction to his quarterback's lobbying for more on-field time? He might get it.

"That would be a good assumption, but we're going to keep him guessing," Tomlin said Monday following the Steelers' first practice since losing to Green Bay 13-9 Saturday. "We'll let him know later in the week."

Roethlisberger led a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the Aug. 5 Hall of Fame game against New Orleans, but was pulled after two unsuccessful drives Saturday against Green Bay. The first ended with Roethlisberger losing a fumble as he was sacked, and the other after three plays and a punt.

There was no guessing about the emphasis Tomlin put on his kicking game during Monday's lone practice. After Jeff Reed's extra-point kick attempt was blocked Saturday night, Tomlin held a full-contact scrimmage Monday devoted to field goal kicking.

The Steelers also re-signed long snapper Jared Retkofsky to compete with Greg Warren, who was beaten up the middle on the blocked extra point.

"It's a glaring weakness that we have and, again, that's just the nature of this league. When you show a weakness, people are going to attack it," Tomlin said. "The only way we're going to make it disappear is if we make it disappear."

Returning to practice, though not for every drill, was first-round draft pick Lawrence Timmons, who hadn't worked out in 2½ weeks due to a groin injury. Running back Willie Parker (knee) and left guard Alan Faneca (shoulder) also returned after sitting out Saturday's game. Parker has yet to play in the preseason.

Left tackle Marvel Smith, whose playing time Saturday was limited, was held out due to tightness in his back. Center Chukky Okobi (ribs) also didn't practice.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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