The Pittsburgh Steelers have had three training camp practices under their belt now, and while it is still considered “football in shorts”, the team has had plenty of news coming from these workouts.
After four straight practices, two in pads, the Steelers have a day off on Tuesday. While fans will have to deal with no practice news for one day, there is some potential good news on the horizon. Although Donte Moncrief (finger) was just the second player who left practice the past two days due to a finger injury, Sean Davis being the other, there is a good chance the team will get some of their injured players back on Wednesday when they return to the practice field.
Nothing new on the Steelers who have been out with "day-to-day like injures". So, TJ Watt, Sean Davis, etc. But Mike Tomlin says "maybe we’ll start getting some of those guys back as we come off the off day."— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 29, 2019
That would be tomorrow.
So, who would be returning? It is possible the Steelers welcome T.J. Watt (hamstring), Johnny Holton (hamstring) and even Sean Davis (finger) back sooner, rather than later. For Watt, it would be his first action of any kind since participating in the run test when players reported to camp last Thursday.
A relative clean bill of health, and players on the verge of returning to the field is a great sign for the Steelers and fans everywhere.
There was other news from the Steelers’ practice Monday...let’s get to it:
Vet Day Off
Sunday, the first padded practice of training camp, Mike Tomlin gave several veterans the day off. The list included Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey and Mark Barron. While the trio all returned to practice Monday, Ramon Foster was given a veterans day on Tuesday.
Notable Positions Switch
With Foster out of the lineup with a day off, it was intriguing how the offensive line shuffled their members. Whether this is actually what would happen in the regular season is a completely different story, but per Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, Matt Feiler moved from right tackle to left guard, which meant Chuks Okorafor got some looks as the starter at right tackle.
Down today are LG Ramon Foster (vet), FS Sean Davis (ginger), WR Johnny Holton (hammy).— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) July 29, 2019
Looks like Matt Feiler moves to LG, Chuks Ray
This very well could just be to give Okorafor, and others, reps at right tackle, while also testing Feiler’s position flexibility. The most common situation would be B.J. Finney taking over at guard and keeping the right tackle position locked in.
The outcome of the 7 Shots for Monday seems to have the starting offense going 2-for-4 during their reps in the drill, but that isn’t what I noticed. I noticed how Roethlisberger found Donte Moncrief twice in the drill.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll read how Roethlisberger has been looking Moncrief’s way early and often, and Moncrief is taking the opportunity and running with it. These practice reps could pay huge dividends when the regular season rolls around in just over a month.
Starting offense 2 for 4 in 7 shots drill. Both TD passes from Ben to Donte Moncrief.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 29, 2019
JuJu can block too...
There hasn’t been one bit of negative news to come out of Steelers camp surrounding JuJu Smith-Schuster. Everything has been positive. Whether it be his skill on the field catching the football, or his interactions with fans after practice — the young man can do no wrong.
What might be overlooked is he is turning into a really good receiver. Not just as a pass catcher, but as an all around receiver. There if a reason many fans compare JuJu to Hines Ward...the kid can block.
Check out this information from Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports:
- Latest wrinkle on defense?
Last year it was the ‘Dollar’ defense, but could Keith Butler’s unit be trying to throw a new wrinkle against the proverbial wall to see if it sticks?
According to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Steelers practiced a defense called “Two Dimes” Monday, with four safeties on the field (plus 2 CBs, 3 LBS, and 2 DL).
The Steelers at one point in practice Monday went to a defense called, "Two Dimes" -- FOUR safeties on the field.— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) July 29, 2019
(plus 2 CBs, 3 LBs, 2 DL).
It was the 2nd-team defense, but still interesting.
Wide receivers working the sidelines Monday pic.twitter.com/yktkp18osn— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) July 29, 2019