The Pittsburgh Steelers were back in pads for the second time since their 2019 season ended in Baltimore in Week 17 last year. Although the padded practice was at Heinz Field, not Saint Vincent College, the Steelers, and head coach Mike Tomlin, were ready to get this new year started right.
While Day 1 of padded practice left fans wanting some type of news, Day 2 certainly didn’t disappoint. With pads on, and pass rushes taking place, it was reported by ESPN’s Brooke Pryor how T.J. Watt and Zach Banner had several “heated”, or as she dubbed it “close disagreements”, during work today.
I can’t describe what occurred between Zach Banner and TJ Watt during one team period beyond a couple “close disagreements” - wording from pool report - but let’s say we saw some emotions today.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2020
This isn’t abnormal for this time of year, and early on in the acclimation period to camp. Watt has nothing to prove, coming off an All-Pro season and his 5th year option already picked up, but Banner has everything to prove. He is battling Chukwuma Okorafor for the vacant right tackle spot, and is playing on a one-year “show me” contract in 2020.
It wasn’t elaborated who started, or finished, the scuffle, but fans of football, especially preseason camp, know this is all part of the process. Nothing to see here, just two competitors working hard against one another.
Iron sharpens iron, right?
There was other news from Day 2 of padded practice...
Let’s get to it...
After practice, Mike Tomlin said the team suffered two injuries during today’s workout. Those two players were rookie guard Kevin Dotson (knee) and Dax Raymond (ankle). Dotson was able to leave under his own power, but Tomlin wouldn't elaborate on the severity of either injury.
Those were the only injuries sustained, but not the only players who missed practice Tuesday. The following players missed practice for a variety of reasons:
ICYMI on Training Camp Live, players not in pads today: Dave DeCastro, Al Villanueva, Eric Ebron, James Washington and Joe Haden #SteelersCamp— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) August 18, 2020
A player who missed the first day of practice, for personal reasons, was Maurkice Pouncey, and Pouncey returned to practice on Tuesday. Pouncey was a full participant and worked with the first offensive line unit at Heinz Field.
Maurkice Pouncey is back on the field for the Steelers. He missed practice Monday for personal reasons.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 18, 2020
McDonald on playing 16 games
When people talk about Vance McDonald, and the potential cons to his overall game, the first facet which is always brought up is his health. McDonald has seemingly always battled nagging injuries since being drafted out of Rice, but during a group call on Tuesday with reporters, via Zoom, McDonald elaborated a bit on his overall thought process when dealing with injuries.
It isn’t as cut and dry as one might think...
Ebron’s calling card in the NFL
Tight End coach James Daniel also spoke with media via Zoom Tuesday, and it was refreshing to hear from coaches you normally don’t get to hear from outside of these settings. Daniel was funny and honest, but when talking about new addition Eric Ebron, he couldn’t help but throw out some accolades.
He spoke about Ebron’s pass catching and route running ability being some of the best in the NFL. The thought of running two tight end sets with McDonald and Ebron has to have Daniel absolutely elated.
Hear from the coach as he describes Ebron’s game.
Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel on what new acquisition Eric Ebron brings to the team/offense pic.twitter.com/1r7w419QGQ— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 18, 2020
A recap of the day’s happenings, in audio form:
Live Look-In at Monday’s Practice
Today’s #SteelersCamp practice is #LIVE at @heinzfield!— SteelersNationUnite (@SteelersUnite) August 18, 2020
Watch Training Camp Live, presented by @FedEx, an exclusive daily live look-in at #SteelersCamp!
For more training camp coverage, watch NFL Network. https://t.co/XIWjdE46U7
Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Conference
Steelers “get off” drill got a little intense today. pic.twitter.com/N3WOKUlT3p— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 18, 2020
Ryan Switzer with a crisp route pic.twitter.com/YsVHJkxwDF— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 18, 2020
If you turn the volume up you may hear the QB say “great catch” to the rookie WR pic.twitter.com/7JTWJXGFNc— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) August 18, 2020
Is it still SZN? Asking for Strip novelty T shirt producers with a backload of inventory. pic.twitter.com/HcUzsjYiY2— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) August 18, 2020