Steelers training camp recap: Day 9 sees physical camp starting to wear on players

Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sport

Multiple players were held out of Saturday's practice that included the goal line drill.

If Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is going to show anything this season, it seems like that would be his desire to run a physical training camp.

It wears on players after a while, and perhaps getting them to play with certain "training camp bumps and bruises," as Tomlin would say, is part of that plan.

He wants to see how tough this team is.

Tight end Matt Spaeth had his knee drained Friday and did not practice Saturday. Defensive end Brett Keisel was given a veteran's day off. Lawrence Timmons, Steve McLendon, Jarvis Jones and Le'Veon Bell all missed practice.

Is it too physical in Latrobe?

On one hand, obviously, a coach doesn't want his players to get hurt, but on the other, setting a tone this season that the expectation is to play through minor injuries - as is simply the nature of playing football at this level. Plus, giving them a day off here and there is perfectly acceptable.

Bell, for example, has been taking a good amount of carries during live 11-on-11 practices. If his knee is bruised, he can rest up a little bit without grave consequences - he showed he's capable of playing well.

The team lost cornerback Cortez Allen to knee surgery stemming from an injury he suffered on the first day of the Football in Shorts period of training camp. Offensive guard Nik Embernate is out for the year with a torn ACL.

The rest appear to be bumps and bruises - a small price to pay to establish the tone a physical, aggressive team is expected from the coaching staff this season.

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