With fans unable to attend training camp in 2020, the Pittsburgh Steelers are offering a practice report each day written by the few members of the media who are able to view each day’s session. So far, two reports have been published from the two padded practices out of 14 the Steelers will hold before their Week 1 match up against the New York Giants on Monday, September 14.
From those reports, which players are getting the most buzz so far? Is there anyone who has stood out for the limited media in attendance on one or both days? Here are eight of the players highlighted and some of the things which have been said about them.
Of course the Steelers franchise quarterback is going to be the talk of the town coming off of elbow surgery. Not only was Rothlisberger talked about throughout many of his drills, he was specifically mentioned in hooking up with a pass to Chase Claypool in the end zone on Monday as well as rekindling his relationship with JuJu Smith-Schuster on Tuesday.
The Steelers’ Defensive Player of the Year candidate from last season made his presence known right away on Monday by standing out in the “backs on backers” drill and followed up with some tackles in the 11-on-11 period. Watt was also mentioned on Tuesday by working with rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith and teaching him some footwork before getting into some “close disagreements” with Zach Banner later in practice.
One play of note on Monday was Vance McDonald having a deep contested catch on the sidelines against safety Terrell Edmunds.
Speaking of Edmunds, although he gave up the catch to McDonald on Monday, he was specifically noted on Tuesday for having some big hits during the team period as well as drills. It was also noted Edmunds had a nice day at practice on Monday as well.
As mentioned with Ben Roethlisberger, Chase Claypool made a leaping catch from Roethlisberger in the corner of the end zone which also drew the praise of cornerback Joe Haden. Claypool followed it up with another catch from Rothlisberger on Tuesday described as “a nice twist and catch on a back shoulder fade.”
In Tuesday’s report, Ryan Switzer was noted for making a nice 10-yard touchdown catch from Roethlisberger.
Tuesday’s report brought a number of things in regards to Zach Banner. The already mentioned “close disagreements” with T.J. Watt came after Banner had a nice drill blocking Bud Dupree, Henry Mondeaux, and Carlos Davis all on different occasions.
The journeyman wide receiver out of Penn State was noted in Tuesday’s practice for making “an impressive special team stop” which caught the eye of both Mike Tomlin and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
UPDATE: In a roster move announced Friday, Blacknall was released as the team signed wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud.
While there are numerous plays which could be highlighted throughout any given practice, this was a brief summary of specific things noted by the media in attendance. Although it doesn’t quite give the same feeling as being a training camp and seeing the players yourself, getting some news about some of our favorite members of the black and gold is better than nothing.