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Spence healthy, finally ready to play for Steelers

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- In his third season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, linebacker Sean Spence showed enough in minicamp that he might be ready to contribute in 2014.

Spence had a good week in minicamp, picking off his first pass in practice in two years and showing the kind of quickness that prompted the Steelers to draft him in the third round in 2012.

"I made some huge strides," Spence said. "I'm still not where I want to be. I have time to do that and I look forward to doing it. Everybody tells me I'm looking good and moving well. I think my quickness is still there.

"Being out of football for two years and being able to read the quarterback and break on it and make an interception without thinking about it felt pretty great."

In his final preseason game as a rookie, Spence tore three ligaments, including the ACL, and damaged the peroneal nerve in his left knee.

Many people thought he would never play again and linebackers coach Keith Butler predicted it would be a miracle if he did.

Spence was on injured reserve for 2012 and on PUP for 2013. He hopes to be on the roster in 2014.

--Linebacker Jason Worilds, operating under a one-year, $9.75- million contract as a transition player, did not make the final minicamp practice Thursday.

Coach Mike Tomlin defused the situation by saying he excused him. Worilds and his agent have turned down a multi-year contract from the Steelers.

After missing all but one of OTA practices because of a calf injury, Worilds did practice the first two days of minicamp.

--In the past, coach Mike Tomlin would have his players show up for the start of the final minicamp practice and then let them go home. Not this time.

After consecutive 8-8 seasons, he put them through a full final day Thursday.

--The Steelers open training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe on July 25, with their first practice July 26.

--The once up-and-down Steelers offensive line appears set with left tackle Kelvin Beachum, left guard Ramon Foster, center Maurkice Pouncey, right guard David DeCastro and right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

Mike Adams probably will be the top sub at the tackle spots.

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