The Pittsburgh Steelers were back out in pads again Friday, and head coach Mike Tomlin and crew were ready to get this new year started right.
Throughout the first week of padded practices, it has been pretty much status quo for how the Steelers, and the coach staff, had planned out the workouts. After workouts and individual work, you have 7 Shots, backs-on-backers, and even a two-minute drill here and there.
The only players throughout this who were taken to the ground in a tackling drill were running backs. Friday, Tomlin did an open space drill which put a running back vs. a linebacker in open space.
After the back received a pitch toss, the linebacker flowed with the back and had to make the tackle. You wouldn’t expect players like Devin Bush and James Conner to have too many repetitions in this drill, right?
Tomlin had the two starters go head-to-head several times, and he isn’t about to apologize for the physicality of camp. He stated how it is a physical game, and tackling is a big part of the game. If he weren’t practicing tackling he wouldn’t be doing his job, and if there is a coach who is easing up on his team they might be doing their team a disservice.
There was other news from Day 4 of training camp practice...
Let’s get to it...
After practice on Friday, Mike Tomlin said there were new short-term, or day-to-day, injuries to Diontae Johnson and Terrell Edmunds. David DeCastro continues to be sideline with his own minor injury, and Dax Raymond (ankle) and Kevin Dotson (knee) have yet to return after their injuries earlier this week.
On Steelers OL no sign of Maurkice Pouncey, Dave DeCastro, Kevin Dotson. DeCastro hasn’t practiced this week and is day to day. Dotson hasn’t been back since a knee injury Tuesday but Mike Tomlin said it appears to be short-term.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 21, 2020
Right Tackle battle not close to complete
The most discussed training camp battle for the Steelers is clearly at right tackle between Zach Banner and Chukwuma Okorafor. Banner made news after having a practice scuffle with T.J. Watt, but otherwise the battle has been pretty quiet.
When will the team made a decision? Not anytime soon.
Shaun Sarrett met with media Friday, and he said this competition could lead right up to Week 1. Sadly, fans won’t get to see the progress made by either of these players, but even Mike Tomlin said after practice they aren’t in any rush to claim a winner at the position.
Steelers OL coach Shaun Sarrett said the competition between Chuks Okorafor and Zach Banner at RT could go up to the week before the first game against the Giants.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 21, 2020
Devin Bush heading into Year 2
Is Devin Bush ready for a sophomore jump, and not a sophomore slump? The talented second year linebacker is more comfortable heading into Year 2, and comfort in the defense can lead to a faster, and better player.
Bush explains as recorded by Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Steelers inside linebacker Devin Bush talks about his comfort level in his second year in the defense. pic.twitter.com/Ifo7YKcRsu— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 21, 2020
New guy shows up
The Steelers recently added Ray-Ray McCloud to their wide receiver room, and it didn’t take him long to make an impression. Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reportedly a nifty catch by McCloud from Paxton Lynch right before the live portion of practice.
As the new guy, Ray-Ray McCloud goes last in WR individual drills, but just made a great catch from Paxton Lynch as the Steelers go into their live portion of practice. And thus I go into tweet hibernation.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 21, 2020
A recap of the day’s happenings, in audio form:
Live Look-In at Practice
Today’s #SteelersCamp practice is #LIVE at @heinzfield!— SteelersNationUnite (@SteelersUnite) August 21, 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/KyzlCYXXZ9
Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Conference
#LIVE: @DVEMike & @CraigWolfley wrap up what Coach Tomlin said in his post-practice media session, what they saw at #SteelersCamp and more on Training Camp Wrap Up, presented by @UPMCHealthPlan!— SteelersNationUnite (@SteelersUnite) August 21, 2020
For more training camp coverage, watch NFL Network. https://t.co/3gGopsXSlt
At today's practice, @CoachTomlin wore the red polo shirt worn by the cleaning crew at @heinzfield to thank & honor them for all they've done to keep the team safe at #SteelersCamp. pic.twitter.com/BMUpcvqrAi— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 21, 2020