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Steelers 2021 Training Camp Recap, Day 1: Two players step to the front of the line

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Training Camp, and it is time to check out what went down during the latest practice!

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

It isn’t Saint Vincent College, but it hasn’t been Latrobe, PA since 2019. The Pittsburgh Steelers are taking in their 2021 Training Camp between Heinz Field and their UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the Southside of Pittsburgh.

What went down during the latest training camp practice? That is where this article comes in. Check out all that was said, as well as photos and videos from the day’s workouts.

Here we go...

The Pittsburgh Steelers have several question marks on their roster at several key positions. Most of them are filling vacancies which were once occupied by entrenched starters. Two of those positions would be at center and slot cornerback. It was only one day of practice, but two players have stepped to the front of the line to take a shot at being the every day starter at those positions.

Those players would be rookie Kendrick Green, and second year defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr.

As you see, Green is going to get the start at center in Preseason Week 1 vs. the Dallas Cowboys. This isn’t huge news, but Green will have every opportunity to take the job and run with it.

On top of that, it was Brooks Jr. who had a tremendous diving interception of Ben Roethlisberger as the heir to Hilton’s former role.

It is early, but these two young players will have the first crack at grabbing the bull by the horns, and not letting go.

Let’s check out some other news from the workout...

T.J. Watt’s new deal coming soon?

Could T.J. Watt be getting a new deal? Mike Tomlin certainly alluded to that happening, but when is a different story altogether. We all know one thing, if it happens at all it will have to be before the team’s Week 1 game in September vs. the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park.

Big Ben’s no dummy

Do you really buy that Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t been hearing the non-stop talk about how he can’t get the job done anymore? Do you really think he lives under a rock? Roethlisberger has heard/read everything, and will be playing in 2021 with a boulder on his shoulder. Will it matter? Depends who you ask, but motivation can be a powerful thing.

New ways to learn the offense

Speaking of Roethlisberger, learning a brand new offense in year 18 in the NFL isn’t always easy. How has Roethlisberger been doing it? He had his daughter make flash cards and quiz him. Let’s hope Roethlisberger can ace the test when the games start to count.

No PUP to start

Injuries are always a talking point, especially for teams who had key players suffer season-ending injuries the year prior. For the Steelers, players like Zach Banner and Devin Bush come to mind with torn ACLs. Nonetheless, Mike Tomlin announced no one will start Training Camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. A good start to camp for the black and gold.

Vince Williams’ Retirement Shock

One of the questions many asked when the news of Vince Williams’ retirement hit the airwaves was if the organization new it was coming. While we don’t know for certain, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic is reporting it seems as if the team knew nothing about the decision by Williams. Talk about putting the team in a bind on the day you report to camp.

T.J. Watt was asked about Williams during his media session, and Watt, like almost all of Williams’ teammates, spoke glowingly of their former teammate.

Can only go up, right?

Can the Steelers’ running game improve? Well, if you ask Mike Tomlin, it can only go up. After all, the team ranked dead last in both rushing yards per game (84.4) and rushing yards per carry (3.6). While the bar has been set low, the hope is improvement with this new offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and entire offensive line.

Back to In-Person Interviews

If you checked out some of the interviews from the first practice, it is worth noting it is the first time players and media have been face to face since 2019. A good sign, and nice to see after a dreadful 2020 season in this regard.

New Numbers

If you are someone who loves jerseys, or just loves jersey numbers, get your notepad and pen out to get the new numbers for the new players. Players like Melvin Ingram, Trai Turner and Chaz Green have new black and gold digits for everyone to learn.

BTSC Training Camp Recap Podcast