The rain Friday in Western Pennsylvania forced the Pittsburgh Steelers away from their usual Saint Vincent College fields, and had them head over to the local Latrobe High School turf field for the first practice of the 2017 season.
While the Steelers were back to doing football-type activities, Mike Tomlin, and everyone who was asked, agreed football doesn’t start until the pads are worn and players are really hitting.
However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t news coming from the Steelers, and we now dive into all the storylines as camp creeps on.
Antonio Brown vs. Artie Burns
Last year Brown made Burns look bad on more than one occasion, and he let him know exactly that every time he caught a pass over the first round draft pick. However, at least in the first practice of this year’s camp, it seems as if the Brown vs. Burns matchups are a bit more even than last year.
Know what matchup will rock in Latrobe? Artie Burns on Antonio Brown. Brown caught a beaut over Burns, Burns responded w sweet PBU #Steelers— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) July 28, 2017
If Burns has improved enough to hang with Brown, that is a tremendous sign for the Steelers as they head into the new season.
Mike Tomlin to get new contract soon
While player contracts are very public knowledge, coaches and front office personnel are usually held behind closed doors. However, it was made known how Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert are both entering the final year of their current contracts with the team.
That may all change soon though, as it was reported Tomlin is due for an extension sooner than later.
Mike Tomlin contract extension with the Steelers expected to be announced soon.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) July 28, 2017
Rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster rolled his ankle, on the play below in the usual “7 Shots” drill which starts each practice. Mike Tomlin addressed the injury, but suggested it isn’t severe as Smith-Schuster was able to return to practice and participate in drills.
Free Martavis Counter: 2 Days
Ben Roethlisberger and new target Justin Hunter connect on slick back-shoulder play. Big Ben talks him through it, Hunter does the twisting pic.twitter.com/SRDfdrQyZ5— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 28, 2017
M. Tomlin told A. Brown "Two-five" (A. Burns) ready for him. AB said hopefully." Brown won his share, as usual, but Burns battled pic.twitter.com/yrwLNxLPzP— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 29, 2017