As the Pittsburgh Steelers donned full pads for the second of back-to-back sessions, see what went down with Mike Tomlin and company at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.
Thursday was officially back-ups day
As the Steelers prepare for their first preseason contest next weekend, there were plenty of veterans getting all, or part, of the workout off for various reasons. Cortez Allen and Mike Mitchell missed practice due to what Tomlin called "minor injuries", while James Harrison and Will Allen continue their veteran respite on the sidelines.
Ross Ventrone continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury, which means if you are a defensive back trying to make a name for yourself, now is time time to do so with the extra repetitions. Along with defense players getting some time to rest, QB Ben Roethlisberger was also given the latter half of practice off as Landry Jones, Tajh Boyd, Tyler Murphy and Devin Gardner got extended repetitions in the 11-on-11 portion of practice.
Steelers Injury Report: C. Allen misses practice
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't dealt with many injuries is this young 2015 training camp, but starting CB Cortez Allen was held out of Thursday's workout with a minor injury.
That Anthony Chickillo is growing on people
Shawn Lemon's release was a tough blow for the CFL star trying to make a name for himself in the NFL, but if there is one person who is causing people to say, "Lemon who?!" it would be Anthony Chickillo. One of the two Steelers 6th round draft picks in 2015, Chickillo is turning heads at camp and is constantly gaining praise from coaches, especially outside linebackers coach Joey Porter.
Chickillo spoke with Neal Coolong of DKonPittsburghSports.com yesterday, and had this to say about the difference the change of scenery makes from playing at Miami, to the rolling hills of Western, PA. "At Miami, I played more of a three technique, four technique defensive line position, but now I'm playing in more space."
Space is a beautiful thing, and with Chickillo slimming down before camp, he now can add the athleticism to make plays in the space he now hopes to occupy on the team's 53-man roster.
'Backs on 'Backers never disappoints
In this episode of 'backs on 'backers, the matchup to watch was Kelvin Beachum vs. Jarvis Jones. The two went head-to-head on more than one occasion, with both winning several matchups, but it was Beachum who got the last laugh. Despite many commenters ready at the keyboard to admonish Jones, lets not forget Beachum is a stellar left tackle and is due for a large pay day. Jones not beating Beachum with regularity is not a cut on Jones, and it would be a cause for concern if Beachum allowed Jones to beat him often. As Tomlin says, "Iron sharpens iron."
What got into Vince Williams?
Vince Williams is a guy you want to root for. Just follow him on Twitter and you will have an idea why. Williams is candid, honest and is a hard working player. He also looks to have shown up to camp with something to prove. After abusing DeAngelo Williams in 'backs on 'backers Wednesday, he abused Williams again on Thursday, but this time it was in 11-on-11 work. Williams-on-Williams crime is something which is becoming a common thread at training camp, and it seems DeAngelo hasn't won many of those battles. If Williams is doing anything, he is proving he is worth playing time, and not just as a special teams player.
Defense wins Round 1, Offense wins Round 2
The Steelers start every practice with the fabled goalline drill. On Thursday, it was the defense who came out dominating the offense in any type of competitive drill. However, it was the offense who got the last laugh as they were the unit which withstood the heat and were able to put together a string of plays, especially running the football, to win the second round of action at the end of practice. It is still extremely early in the overall process, and neither unit should be chastised or be a cause for concern - yet.
The Steelers practice Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Latrobe High School stadium for the annual Friday night lights practice. As always, this practice is open to the public.