At the end of the final practice in pads for the Steelers’ 2019 training camp on Wednesday, head coach Mike Tomlin briefly addressed the media. Afterwards, Coach Tomlin was asked questions about specific players in regards to their recent play. This list isn’t to suggest these players were the only ones who stood out, but highlights players about whom Tomlin was asked questions.
BJ Finney leaves practice. He was in front seat of cart sitting up. Unsure what the injury is.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 14, 2019
Entrenched as the reserve for the interior of the offensive line, B.J. Finney was unable to finish practice on Wednesday. Over the past few seasons, Finney has made spot starts at all three inside positions. Earning a new contract this past offseason, Finney is one of the main reasons the Steelers’ offensive line is considered to have some of the best depth in the NFL, so him leaving practice on the cart is a bit concerning.
Coach Tomlin was asked about the status of Finney.
“He was taken off and is being evaluated- heat related like symptoms. August football-like things.”
And #Steelers 7 shots in the books, offense wins 4-3.— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) August 14, 2019
Ben goes 2-4 with TDs to Vance & JuJu. One breakup by Edmunds on an amazing jump. Edmunds has INT on reverse pass from JuJu.
Dobbs goes 2-3 with 2 TDs to Johnson and a great throw to Grimble but 1 foot out. #dkps
It was the first time Ben Roethlisberger has been involved in a fully padded practice in almost a week. With his playing time most likely to remain at zero in Week 2, the only gauge on Roethlisberger’s rapport with his new receivers is his limited work in camp. With so many days off, it has been difficult to remember in which drills Roethlisberger has participated.
Coach Tomlin was asked if it was Roethlisberger’s first time running the two-minute drill.
“Not in life. I haven’t thought a lot about it. I don’t worry about the guys that aren’t working. I worry about the guys that are. Obliviously, because of our rotations, particularly in stadium, we focused in recent weeks on the young guys because these are the guys that are going to be in the game- end of the half, end of the game. We do want to keep him up to speed and growing and readying himself, so we did infuse him today.”
There was a lot of buzz around Sutton Smith when he was first drafted this past offseason in the sixth round out of Northern Illinois. Add in him taking reps on both sides of the ball and his versatility became something Steelers’ fans ate up. What’s been hard to swallow with Smith is his lack of availability in training camp due to injury.
Coach Tomlin was asked if Smith is falling behind due to the amount of time he has missed.
One of the players who returned to practice on Wednesday was wide receiver Donte Moncreif. Although he is in his first year with the Steelers, Moncrief is entering his sixth season in the NFL. The third oldest wide receiver in camp behind Johnny Holton and Eli Rogers, Moncrief has more than twice as many NFL games played than any other player in the position group.
Coach Tomlin was asked if it’s easier for a veteran like Moncrief to get back in the flow and if he saw that today.
“I wasn’t directly looking at him, but just largely that is the case. Certainly, you’re talking about a veteran player with time spent is significantly different than a guy like Sutton Smith.”
Steelers LB Mark Barron this morning on his impressions so far: "I didn't really know what to expect, from the outside looking in; you know, you have all the stuff that was going on with the media and all of that, but when I got here, I didn't see any of that. And I still don’t."— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 14, 2019
A former top-ten draft pick in 2012, Mark Barron has transitioned from a slightly over-sized safety to a somewhat undersized linebacker. Signed in March by the Steelers after being released by the Rams, Barron filled a void for the Steelers before the 2019 NFL draft. After selecting Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick, the Steelers will need to figure out exactly how they are going to utilize Barron, Bush, and Vince Williams at inside linebacker.
Coach Tomlin was asked about Barron’s value to the other young linebackers.
“Mark is kind of a mute. He doesn’t have a lot to say. He’s truly professional in terms of how he goes about his work, but he’s not an overly vocal guy. If the young guys are learning from him, they’re learning by watching.”
Mike Tomlin’s full media session can be seen here: