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Steelers Training Camp Nuggets: What you need to know from the 8/17 practice

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Getting you caught up on another training camp practice, less than 3 days before their second preseason game

On a hot, muggy day at Saint Vincent College, it’s hard to believe that we have reached the final stages of this year’s training camp. When this time of the year arrives, it give us the feeling that the 2017 regular season is just around the corner.

The storylines in today’s session: a celebration between teammates long overdue, the chant of “dirty red”, and an often-criticized wide receiver that had another good day.

So once again Steelers fans, let’s go!

Injury Report:

Today was an unusual day on the injury front. After sustaining a leg injury during practice yesterday, rookie wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster was seen on practice field in jogging pants. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced post-practice, that Smith-Schuster was day-to-day with a bone bruise.

Third year backup center/guard B.J. Finney was reportedly being carted off after he went down during team drill. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittipaldo later updated that Finney went down as a result of dehydration.

Second year wide receiver DeMarcus Ayers was in full uniform, but his participation was minimal. As reported by TribeLive’s Joe Rutter, Ayers was seen taking underhand passes from one of the coaches.

Center Maurkice Pouncey was present but his participation minimal as reported by PennLive reporter Jacob Klinger; Pouncey’s current status is day-to-day. Lastly, rookie running back James Conner was fully dressed and participated in the ‘seven shots’ drill, as noted in Klinger’s post-practice report; however was not made clear if he participated in any of the other drills.

The remaining list of players who did not participate in today’s session: Maurkice Pouncey (lower body), Ryan Shazier(hamstring), Senquez Golson (hamstring), Mike Mitchell (lower body), and Keion Adams (shoulder).

Moment of the Day:

This picture will make Steelers fans smile. As described by ESPN Senior writer Jeremy Fowler, after successfully executing a goal-line reverse to receiver Martavis “Avatar” Bryant in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was the lead blocker, both were seen celebrating their touchdown.

Steelers fans can remember that not too long ago, they were embroiled in controversy concerning critical remarks he made towards each other. Seeing them both connecting in this manner is a big step in the right direction.

The picture below is currently seen on Bryant’s Instagram account.

Picture provided by @Steel_Curtain4

Training Camp Action:

Notable Performers:

Tyler Matakevich: If there were an award for most valuable camp performer, the second-year linebacker out of Temple should be among the finalists. Simply put, he has been a consistent force on defense throughout camp. Almost every report I’ve seen of him since the Steelers first day in pads consisted of him making timely hits, breaking up passes, or getting an interception.

As described by ESPN’s Fowler, whenever Matakevich makes a big play, chants of ‘dirty red’ are heard coming from the players When asked if Matakevich can play both inside spots, coach Tomlin confirmed that was very capable of doing so. Undersized? Yes, but Matakevich can flat out play football. If he is able to translate this strong training camp into the regular season, the sky seems to be the limit for him.

Sammie Coates: The most competitive battle in camp right now is between Coates and fellow receiver Justin Hunter. Coates showed today that he was not going down without a fight. Noted yesterday in Klinger’s post-practice report, Coates beat cornerback Artie Burns running a delayed slant; and accounted for a touchdown in the back of the end zone over cornerback Brian Allen during the short-yardage drill.

In Klinger’s latest post-practice report, Coates caught a 40-yard pass from rookie quarterback Joshua Dobbs after splitting two defenders and cutting across the field. Though most of his catches came against the second-string defense, Klinger noted that he his hands are more steady than they have been in the past. These upcoming preseason games will be make or break for Coates.

Martavis “Avatar” Bryant: I’ll summarize this quickly after viewing Klinger’s report, Bryant is a different specie and what’s scary is that he’s just getting better.