This is always an exciting time of the year. In front of a capacity crowd of 10,635 fans, the Steelers six Lombardi trophies on display, the annual ‘Friday Night Light’s practice was in full effect. Before the start of practice, the family of fallen state trooper Michael Stewart was invited on the field in an emotional tribute. However, the most notable story of this night involved something that almost took place.
Some theatrics occurred before the beginning of practice. As reported by ESPN, Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant accompanied his teammates on the bus with full gear in tow, and, by all appearances, it seemed that he was ready to make his long anticipated debut in front of the thousands in attendance.
He was then stopped by stopped by Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, his pads were taken away and Bryant left the field. In a statement later released by the Steelers, they confirmed that Bryant had yet to be reinstated and could not participate.
The other storyline of the evening was mother nature. For those who followed today’s event on ESPN, SNR, or any other source, there was a lightning warning in effect. At one point, the rain came down hard enough resulting in the stadium being vacated for 15 minutes; several minutes later, the rain came down hard again resulting in a premature end to the session.
From what I viewed, the injury status of James Conner, Cameron Sutton, Landry Jones and Mike Mitchell has not changed as they were not seen in pads. In addition to the players noted, Justin Hunter, Landry Jones, Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, Ryan Shazier, James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Sean Davis and Greg Ducre all didn’t participate. Cornerback Artie Burns Jr. left during the ‘seven shots’ drill, and was later seen on the sidelines without pads; he was replaced by Coty Sensabaugh. At the end of practice, Head Coach Mike Tomlin described Burns’ injury as being ‘minor’. I am certain that we should receive more information on his condition in the coming days.
As described by Senior NFL Writer Jeremy Fowler, James Harrison gave a mouth full to T.J. Watt for going ‘finesse’ on tight end Phazahn Odom in their one-on-one drill. Harrison then instructed Watt to go “through him” which he did when they paired off again.
- Running back Trey Williams made a big impression during ‘back-on-backers’ drill with his blocking. In his one-on-one with UDFA linebacker Matt Galambos, he knocked him straight to the ground.
- Fourth-string quarterback Bart Houston had a good showing today in ‘seven shots’, as he went 3 for 3. He displayed good poise and made some nice reads and throws according to Steelers writer Mark Kaboly.
- Anthony Chickillo had another impressive showing in one-one-ones beating everyone he faced.
- JuJu Schuster-Smith continues to display incredible athleticism and body control. As desribed by Kaboly, Joshua Dobbs’s pass was deflected by safety Robert Golden, Schuster-Smith was somehow able to contort his body and catch the ball with one hand at least 20 yards down the field.
Free Martavis Counter: 9 Days