Roethlisberger looks sharp, strong in 1st practice

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“What’s in the past is in the past,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “He did his time. He did his suspension, and now we’re moving on. And we’re glad to have him back with our team. We’re 3-1 right now, so we’re going to hand it over to him and let him do his thing and try to win ball games.”

The only apology Roethlisberger made upon his return was telling the wide receivers he was sorry they had to do much extra work during an off-week practice.

“What had to be said was said a long time ago,” Wallace said. “He was sorry when it first happened, so we didn’t need to go over it again or have him apologize. He doesn’t have to do that. We know that he’s sorry, and we know he’s ready to play football.”

Roethlisberger’s return is expected to open up an offense that has leaned heavily on its running game. With Rashard Mendenhall averaging 102.8 yards rushing _ he’s second in the league to Houston’s Arian Foster _ the Steelers probably won’t ask Roethlisberger to throw an average of 34 times per game like he did in passing for a club-record 4,328 yards last season.

“I think they’ve been stacking up to defend our run, so … I’m sure they’re going to play things a little differently now with Ben in there,” Mendenhall said. “He definitely adds another dynamic to the offense.”

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