The Pittsburgh Steelers were back out in pads again Wednesday, and head coach Mike Tomlin and crew were ready to get this new year started right. In the final week of training camp, the Steelers have started to conclude their strange and weird 2020 training camp at Heinz Field.
One mainstay throughout camp has been James Conner. Not only did he show up in tremendous shape, but he has stayed healthy throughout the duration of camp. No missed practices for a tight groin. No hamstring injuries. Healthy, for once.
Wednesday the Steelers removed Conner from some of the tackling periods, but it wasn’t an indication the team was trying to save him. Instead, it was more about the team wanting to give players like Anthony McFarland and others a chance to prove himself.
This per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:
Tomlin says they've removed James Conner from some team run tackling periods, but it's less about him and more about getting other guys exposure.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 2, 2020
After practice Tomlin spoke glowingly about Conner and the camp he has had. He praised his overall work, declared him good-to-go and applauded his conditioning level coming into this 2020 training camp.
This per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com:
Coach Tomlin said James Conner has had a good camp, gotten in some good work and he expects him to be ready to go. Said Conner came in highly-conditioned.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) September 2, 2020
Getting through camp is one thing, getting through a regular season, something Conner has yet to do in his short professional career, is another. Will this be the year Conner stays healthy and available for all 16 games? Only time will tell.
There was other news from Day 11 of training camp practice...
Let’s get to it...
Players who weren’t practicing on Wednesday were:
Coach Tomlin said Anthony McFarland was able to practice today. Cam Sutton didn't finish and is being evaluated.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) September 2, 2020
Other players who missed practice:
David DeCastro (lower body)
Stefen Wisniewski (veteran day off)
Kam Kanaday (knee, limited)
Marcus Allen on ILB
Marcus Allen has been getting a lot of publicity recently for his ability to possibly be a hybrid linebacker/safety in the Steelers’ defense. A lot like the role Mark Barron played in 2019. Allen is accustomed to the role, and doesn’t feel the adjustment will be that drastic.
This per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Former Penn St safety Marcus Allen on his new role as part-time ILB with the Steelers pic.twitter.com/IDH0gaZw1e— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) September 2, 2020
Allen moved to ILB not new
Speaking of Allen potentially moving to ILB, this is not something which will be new to him. In fact, Allen told reporters via Zoom it is a position he played when he was at Penn State. A position in which he thrived.
This per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com:
Marcus Allen talking today via zoom said he played some linebacker in the box at Penn State, so moving there is nothing new to him.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) September 2, 2020
Allen not joining the Steelers’ weight loss club
So far this preseason, all the talk has been about players who have slimmed down heading into 2020. Ben Roethlisberger looks leaner than ever, Benny Snell Jr. has lost about 12 pounds and even James Washington has dropped about 6 pounds heading into the 2020 regular season. But don’t think Marcus Allen joined this club. In fact, he made sure to maintain his 215 pound physique this offfseason.
This per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Third-year Steeler Marcus Allen said he didn't bulk up this offseason in anticipation of moving down from safety to linebacker. He was still doing DB drills, for the most part, and weighs 215.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) September 2, 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) September 2, 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/4S23ZBLQxn
Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Conference
#LIVE: @missi_matthews & @DVEMike 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) September 2, 2020
For more training camp coverage, watch NFL Network. https://t.co/aSOTx28ntM
Doing whatever it takes— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 3, 2020