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 five practices, the Steelers might be getting near the “we are sick of hitting each other” stage of camp. The problem is, there is still over a week until the Steelers can finally hit someone other than their teammates.
If you haven’t heard yet, the Steelers had their first camp fight on Wednesday, but the real news here wasn’t a skirmish on the practice field, but who it involved. In other words, I was shocked when I read exactly who were throwing punches.
This per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Al Villanueva and Cam Heyward get into some pushing and shoving after a run play. Neither backs down and have to be broken up.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) July 31, 2019
Some went as far as to say Villanueva was throwing some hard hooks before being broken up. Now, I’m not trying to suggest this turned into the Pirates vs. Reds brawl on Tuesday night, but it is noteworthy when two veterans, and two players held in high esteem, go after one another to this degree.
If you had Heyward vs. Villanueva in the first camp fight in your office pool...congratulations! You are the winner!
Now let’s get to the other news from Wednesday’s training camp practice...
More walking wounded
Thankfully, the Steelers haven’t suffered any huge injuries to date, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have injuries to deal with. A few more players left practice Wednesday for a multitude of reasons, headlining those players would be none other than Ryan Switzer who injured his quadriceps.
Good news on T.J. Watt
While some are leaving the field due to injury, one very important player for the black-and-gold has started to work his way back to the gridiron. That player would be none other than T.J. Watt, who has started to work with trainers on side fields as he returns from his hamstring injury.
Steelers OLB T.J. Watt, who's on the PUP with a hamstring issue, worked off to the side with a trainer and was moving well. Time away likely precautionary.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 31, 2019
No. 50 in the house!
This had to be a good sight for so many people, but when Ryan Shazier showed up at training camp for the first time this year it had to be awesome for fans, players and coaches alike.
The best sight at practice so far: Ryan Shazier is here!— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) July 31, 2019
The Steelers, and Mike Tomlin, continue to give their veterans days off periodically throughout the week. David DeCastro had the day off on Wednesday, with B.J. Finney taking his place, and if my math is correct it should be a day off for Ben Roethlisberger, and possibly Maurkice Pouncey, on Thursday.
DeCastro has the day off today, as expected. BJ Finney in at RG1.— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) July 31, 2019
Looks like Moncrief is off today (finger)
All the other healthy players appear a Go today. I don’t see Sean Davis in uniform again (also a finger)
If you care about the results of the drill ‘Seven Shots’, where seven plays are run from the two-point conversion line to see if the offense or defense wins the war of attrition, the offense got the best of the defense, again, on Wednesday.
If you are like me, you love to get tidbits about the rookies throughout camp. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Diontae Johnson and Devin Bush both had stellar practices Wednesday, but what might be the most shocking part is not hearing about players not named Johnson, Benny Snell Jr. or Bush. There has been little talk about players like Sutton Smith, Ulysees Gilbert or even Zach Gentry...but there is still time.
Another productive day for rookie WR Diontae Johnson (TD over middle at goal line) and ILB Devin Bush, who got starter's reps alongside Mark Barron. He had two PBUs and a run stop.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 31, 2019
See it.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 31, 2019
Toss it. pic.twitter.com/cNPY7jU4FE