The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the practice fields at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA Wednesday after a day off. This was the first of only three practices until the team packs up shop temporarily and heads to Canton, OH to play the Minnesota Vikings in the annual Hall of Fame game. Take a look at what happened in Wednesday's practice.
Offense gets the best of '7 Snaps'
Mike Tomlin has started a new tradition with the team this training camp as they start every practice with a goal line drill called '7 Snaps'. There are seven plays run from the goal line, and there is a daily winner. On Wednesday, it was the offense who got the best of the defense, winning 4 of the 7 snaps. All four touchdowns were thrown by quarterbacks, two from Ben Roethlisberger, and two from Landry Jones (please don't spit your coffee out of your mouth).
Injury bug only getting worse
The Steelers saw injuries continue to pile up, some major and some minor. The worse of the bunch was what Mike Tomlin called a 'significant' injury to safety Robert Golden's knee. Offensive lineman Chris Hubbard went down with an injury Tomlin dubbed a typical training camp injury. Also, rookie first-round pick Bud Dupree seemed to dislocate a finger, but the training staff was able to pop it back into place and he returned to practice. Just a subtle reminder that life in the NFL is nothing like real life in terms of injuries.
AB back on punt return duties
The Steelers had their first legitimate special teams practice of training camp Wednesday and guess who was back to field punts? If you said Antonio Brown, you would be correct. Brown was also joined by Dri Archer and newly signed Kenzel Doe. As Tomlin would say in regards to Brown returning punts, "We don't live in our fears." However, the odds of Brown returning a punt in a game which doesn't matter will be highly doubtful.
At one point during the team's 11-on-11 session Wednesday, Todd Haley had a two-back set with Dri Archer and Le'Veon Bell both in the backfield. Whether this is something which will be utilized in the regular season has yet to be determined, but the options they would have in the backfield would be incredible with such a dynamic duo in the backfield. Both can catch the ball, and the skill level would be off the charts. Something to keep an eye on throughout the preseason.
Two-Minute Drill returns to Latrobe
The Steelers had a two-minute drill offensive drill to finish up practice Wednesday. The first team was awarded one timeout and started the drive on their own 30. With about 10 seconds left from around the 14-yard line Ben Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown for a touchdown to end the practice for the starting offense. The second team was given two timeouts, and was lead by Landry Jones. The drill didn't work out as well as it ended with a Kevin Fogg interception on a 4th and 17.
Other interesting notes
- ILB Vince Williams continues to murder people (figuratively, not literally), and laid a couple huge hits again Wednesday.
- Bruce Gradkowski threw on the sidelines Wednesday and Tomlin stated he could be close to coming off the PUP list.
- Art Rooney II stated he still is interested in having games in Mexico City in the future.
The Steelers will return to practice Thursday at 2:55 p.m., and the session is open to the public.