Washington, Parker shine in annual test

Willie (center) was fast, but Nate was faster

LATROBE – There's a new king of speed in town and his name is Nate Washington. The second-year wide receiver was one of the stars of Saturday's annual run test, blowing away a group on the final 40-yard sprint up and back that included the likes of...

... Cedrick Wilson and Ike Taylor, two players previously considered a pair of the fastest on the team.

"Nate Washington is the fastest. Give him the fastest, Nate Washington," said speedy running back Willie Parker, who famously proclaimed himself as four of the fastest five players on the team last season.

"Today he put on the greatest show when he beat Ike and everybody. I even told him stepped up a little notch or two in the speed game."

Washington, who surprisingly made the team last season as an undrafted rookie out of Tiffin University, downplayed his display of speed.

"Hopefully this is my year right here to make a name for myself," the wideout admitted. "I'm just trying to do my best."

Saturday, his best was pretty darn good.

Other players who shined in Saturday's run test included guard Kendall Simmons, defensive ends Brett Keisel and Lee Vickers, tight end Charles Davis and Parker.

Nine Steelers did not participate in the run test this year, seemingly a new record. That group included linebacker Joey Porter and wide receiver Walter Young, who were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list by the team Saturday. Also skipping the drill were running backs Duce Staley and Verron Haynes, center Jeff Hartings, defensive end Shaun Nua, nose tackle Casey Hampton, offensive tackle Max Starks and quarterback Charlie Batch.

Those nine players did some light running on another practice field while their teammates completed Saturday's test.

All but Porter and Young are expected to participate Sunday when the Steelers hold their first official practice of training camp.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter

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