Steelers OTAs recap: News, injury report, schedules and position battles

USA TODAY Sports

Everything that happened in the Steelers' second practice of the second phase of OTAs. Practice concludes for the week today, and begins again Monday.

While there wasn't a court jester in the form of No. 24 Ike Taylor on hand, the Steelers' mid-point of these OTAs was eventful Wednesday.

News

Northward Bound - former Steelers fourth-round pick Thaddeus Gibson is learning the Canadian version of the game as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.

Knowledge is power for Vince Williams - The second-year linebacker has a leg up in terms of what's going on, writes Tony Defeo.

Finish your routes, rookie - Steelers coach Mike Tomlin tears into rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant after Bryant fails to sprint after making a catch in a route-running drill Wednesday.

Slow your roll on Jermichael Finley - A post-op appointment with his surgeon, who happens to be the Steelers' team doctor, does not mean he met with the team.

The Archer Back - Steelers rookie Dri Archer has been learning from running backs and wide receivers, writes BTSC's Dale Grdnic live from practice.

Ben has put up decent statistics under Todd Haley - Most of the results are in, and it turns out Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger actually does fairly well under offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Jeff Hartman has the details.

Mel Blount-endorsed C.J. Goodwin signed - The Steelers released Jasper Collins to sign UDFA C.J. Goodwin Wednesday. Goodwin came with a recommendation from Hall of Fame CB Mel Blount, who's son attended high school with Goodwin.

Steelers Relays 2014 - the defense is like watching a track meet, says CB Will Gay.

Tomlin sees you, Antwon Blake - Steelers coach Mike Tomlin noticed cornerback Antwon Blake during practice. He also noticed when Blake was bumped back to the fourth spot in the cornerback rotation upon the return of Ike Taylor.

Starting the rookies - What kind of chances do linebacker Ryan Shazier and defensive end Stephon Tuitt have of starting for the Steelers this year? Not too bad, actually. Not bad at all.

Pounce-ibilities of a long-term deal - The Steelers have an interesting dilemma ahead of them regarding center Maurkice Pouncey. Cap space isn't at an ideal level, and Pouncey is returning off major knee surgery. What kind of long-term offer will the team make?

OTAs Schedule

Voluntary practices: May 27-29, June 3-5 and June 9-12.
Mandatory minicamp: June 17-19

Position battles

Lots of receivers are in the mix, as they usually are. The amount of playing time Bryant will get this year will depend largely on his ability to show he can run the full compliment of routes required of the split end. He and Markus Wheaton could end up splitting series down the line, but for now, the second-year Wheaton will likely hold down that spot.

Tuitt is competing against a guy who isn't even on the roster. If Tuitt, and free agent acquisition Cam Thomas, can't show they're capable from an awareness and a conditioning perspective to hold down all snaps at the defensive end position, the Steelers may bring back veteran Brett Keisel.

Injuries

Jason Worilds did not practice again, and hasn't been practicing since suffering a calf strain last week. Will Johnson left with an ankle injury and isn't expected back Thursday.

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