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Steelers-Lions practice was cordial -- even a former Bengal says so

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions conducted a clean, brisk two-hour joint practice at Saint Vincent College.

What gives? Don't these things usually involve at least one fight?

Nope. This was all professional in the first of two sessions between the teams.

"What all you ambulance chasers came to see, you didn't see," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin joked in his post-practice press conference.

The hitting commenced during one-on-one drills, particularly the offensive and defensive line matchups and special-teams work, but otherwise there was minimal tackling in a controlled environment. Steelers safety Mike Mitchell said he maybe saw one collision all day.

This was a pleasant surprise for new Lions receiver Marvin Jones. The last time the former Cincinnati Bengal saw the Steelers, assistant coach Joey Porter was arguing with Adam "Pacman" Jones in the middle of the field and the flags were flying during the heated AFC wild-card game.

He expected a different experience in Latrobe, but he's still conditioned to expect physicality when lining up against the black and gold.

"I wondered if it might get a little chippy, but this was a great working environment," said Jones, who signed a five-year, $40-million deal with Detroit in the offseason. "Nobody really said anything [about the Bengals]. Everything was cool."

Some notes from the session:

*Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a coach-excused absence for a personal matter but is expected to return for Wednesday's session.

*Lions cornerback Darius Slay went up with Antonio Brown a few times in one-on-ones. I was on another field and didn't see it, but I asked around and it sounds like Brown won a few matchups.

*A coach basically told second-year defensive end L.T. Walton after a bad play: You keep doing that, you won't be here much longer.

*Landry Jones started 2-of-4 against the first-team Lions defense on a series that included a rare drop by Brown. Against the second team, Sammie Coates toasted safety Isaiah Johnson down the sideline for a score, via quarterback Dustin Vaughan.

*Running back Le'Veon Bell got tripped up on his right leg while running downfield against a Lions defender, but he popped up fine on that reconstructed knee. Bell took contact Tuesday -- no major hits but a few thuds.

*Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva had all he could handle against Ezekiel Ansah. Villanueva held his own on the first two reps, but Ansah got him with a swim move on the third.

*Defensive end Cam Heyward beat Lions guard Laken Tomlinson with a counter spin move.

*Reserve guard Chris Hubbard was solid in one-on-ones. Acquitted himself well.

*The Lions' offense marched downfield for a score in 11-man touch, but it went against the Steelers' second-team defense.