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Steelers 2020 Training Camp Recap, Day 10: Defense might have the edge, but offense is gaining ground

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the practice field, and it is time to recap what took place at Heinz Field.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp handout photo

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back out in pads again Monday, and head coach Mike Tomlin and crew were ready to get this new year started right.

There is an old adage which states certain things always start out faster than the opposition. In baseball, pitching always trumps hitting early in the season before batters settle in, and in football a defense is told to be ahead of the curve compared to the offense.

When you think about it, it makes sense.

New acquisitions, whether they are rookies or free agent pick-ups, take time to gel. The cohesion between an offensive line, quarterback and offensive weapons is something which takes time.

With that said, when you consider the veteran laden Pittsburgh defense, it is no shock the Steelers’ defense has been coming out on top of team sessions. But that doesn’t mean the offense isn’t starting to gain some ground.

“It’s a known fact that offensive cohesion probably takes a little bit longer (to develop) than defensive cohesion,” Mike Tomlin said after practice. “The timing and the ability to get a sense of that timing and work collectively is much more important. We’ve had a number of guys miss some time due to natural things that this process presents, so it’s good to see those guys coming together and I’m not surprised that maybe sometimes defensive collective maturation happens a little faster.”

But as you read the practice report from Monday, you see the Steelers’ offense is starting to gain some ground on the defense, and it all started with the two-minute drill.

“The Steelers started their competition period with a two-minute drill where the offense had to go 47 yards for a touchdown with 1:21 on the clock. Both the first and second-team offenses scored touchdowns. Roethlisberger got off to a slow start and used 12 plays before connecting with JuJu Smith-Schuster from 3 yards out. Rudolph needed nine plays before hooking up with Chase Claypool for a 3-yard score. Smith-Schuster caught a touchdown in the red zone later in practice.”

There was other news from Day 10 of training camp practice...

Let’s get to it...

Players missed

With the Steelers back on the field, and several players returned to practice who had missed time prior:

Players who weren’t practicing were:

David DeCastro (lower body)
Anthony McFarland (concussion)
Kam Canaday (knee)

This per Missi Matthews of

As noted above, the following players were back, in some capacity, and are working their way back.

Ryan Switzer (foot)
Chris Wormely (shoulder)
Wendell Smallwood (shoulder)
Terrell Edmunds (knee)
Vance McDonald (undisclosed)

Kerrith Whyte Jr.

Those who were previously injured and remained out of practice were:

Derwin Gray (knee)
Alexander Myres (groin)
Ryan Switzer (foot) (day-to-day)
Kam Canaday (knee)
Derek Watt (unknown) (working back)

After practice, Mike Tomlin addressed the media and said David DeCastro injury was labeled “lower body” but is hopeful he will be back sooner than later. To read more about the injury report, click HERE.

Bud’s got jokes

During Monday’s Zoom interview, Bud Dupree was very jovial with reports, even making a joke about how he turned down a 2-year, $200 million dollar contract. It was all in good fun, and you can check out the video below via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Grievance not decided

Speaking of Dupree, there was the entire grievance his agent/representation filed over the position he is labeled for the franchise tag. The Steelers, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states, label Dupree as a linebacker. However, Dupree feels he should be considered a defensive end/pass rusher. The difference? A couple million dollars. Dupree told reporters there was no news on the grievance front.

True Professionals

Inside linebacker coach Jerry Olsavsky spoke openly about a lot of players, and Vince Williams was one of those players. He answered the question of what keeps Williams hanging around...this per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:

Marcus Allen likes to hit

Why does Olsavsky like Marcus Allen being in the inside linebacker room? I’ll just let him tell you. This per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The Green Dot

Last season there was a weekly discussion as to which defender was wearing the green dot on his helmet. This dot is the communication helmet with the speakers in it for coach communication. Typically it is one of the inside linebackers who wears this helmet. Who will it be in 2020? Olsavsky isn’t sure just yet.

Tomlin on Coach Thompson

The passing of former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson hit Mike Tomlin hard. He talked about it after practice Monday.


A recap of the day’s happenings, in audio form:

Live Look-In at Practice

Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Conference