The Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions engaged in the first of two joint practices Tuesday, and, for all intents and purposes, they didn't disappoint. There were big plays, some trash talking and more than a few injuries to add to the growing list of training camp "bumps and bruises".
Some of the biggest aspects of practice to takeaway for fans was who practiced where, and with whom. For instance, Alejandro Villanueva was given the nod with the starters, but you should expect Ryan Harris to get a look with the starters during Wednesday's practice. It looks as if Villanueva will have the starting job heading into the preseason, but as football fans know, a lot can change in a short amount of time.
It should also be noted how Landry Jones has been the quarterback taking over starting duties when Ben Roethlisberger is not practicing. This could mean the Steelers continue to want to get an extended look at the 4th year quarterback, or that Jones is ahead of Bruce Gradkowski for the race for QB2 in 2016.
There were a lot of members of the Steelers who stood out in their one-on-one matchups, none more so than Antonio Brown. Brown has become the best in the business, and almost uncoverable with his ability to come in and out of his breaks. Brown was up to his usual antics Tuesday, and his mouth was running the entire time.
Anthony Chickillo was impressive in pass rushing drills, and is starting to look more like quality depth at outside linebacker, and less like a special teams player. Not that the second year pro won't be utilized on special teams, but he is fine tuning his craft to the point where people are taking notice. This isn't the 2015 Chickillo who has impressed during 'backs on 'backers, but a player who is evolving.
Jerald Hawkins, offensive tackle out of LSU and 4th round drat pick, was getting a lot of positive press during today's practice session before leaving with a shoulder injury.
Everyone involved on both sides of the field deemed the practice session to be a success, and it is safe to say the players were anxious to hit someone not wearing a black helmet with a gold stripe down the middle.
With the intensity ramped up, there were certainly bumps and bruises throughout the workout. As stated above, Jerald Hawkins suffered a shoulder injury, Sean Davis was seen icing down a knee after practice, and several players like Bud Dupree were given a partial work day as they work their way back from previous injuries.
Ben Roethlisberger did not practice, and was not present, due to a personal reason which Tomlin excused, and Marcus Gilbert was given the day off for maintenance.
Steelers verify Senquez Golson surgery
Mike Tomlin did verify Golson's surgery on his Lisfranc injury on his foot, but also stated they do not have a timetable for his return at this point.
Mike Tomlin Media Coverage
Pictures and Video
Steelers and Lions engaged in some live NFL football pic.twitter.com/wrrN7tkJAC— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 9, 2016
Haloti Ngata, of all people, at SVC (didn't want to get closer in case he doesn't like having his picture taken). pic.twitter.com/EjAqMLkRKa— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) August 9, 2016
A couple of zebras monitor a passing drill (gonna go out on a limb and say that looked like a catch). pic.twitter.com/WPI6Bxr3MW— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) August 9, 2016