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 acquired Joe Schobert from the Jacksonville Jaguars via trade, and as more details are released about the trade, it becomes even better for the Steelers.
However, the one thing everyone is asking is how Schobert fits into the Steelers’ scheme. Is he just quality depth? Is he there in case Devin Bush needs to be eased back into the lineup? Was he brought in to replace Robert Spillane?
A lot of questions, and no answers until the team took to the practice field at Heinz Field during a close session Sunday. The practice was earlier in the morning, and without pads, but it became evident the Steelers wanted to see what they had in Schobert early and often.
In fact, they threw him out there with the starters without hesitation.
But what is his expected role? We might not have that definitive answer until the regular season rolls around, but as of now it looks like they want Schobert to learn the mack and dime-backer role, and also to wear the green dot on his helmet to convey the defensive play calls to the defense.
New Steelers ILB Joe Schobert says the plan is for him to play dimebacker and mack backer, also wear the green dot and call plays for the defense.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
After practice safety Terrell Edmunds said Schobert was calling plays on the field, and it was his first practice with the team.
Terrell Edmunds said Schobert was calling the plays already today at his first practice https://t.co/RDzFIzxkoQ— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 15, 2021
Schobert isn’t a rookie, and likely knows the framework of the Steelers’ defense without doing anything but learning some new terminology. What they call a Jet Blitz, as an example, in Pittsburgh might be called a Dog Blitz in Jacksonville. Just a matter of learning the new terminology.
Schobert, and his role, is something to keep an eye on, especially as it pertains to Devin Bush. It would be expected Bush is the guy to never come off the field, but if Schobert is preparing for that role, it makes you wonder how the two will divide the labor at the inside linebacker position.
Now time for other news and notes from Sunday’s practice...
Just your regular update on the ‘7 Shots’ drill. This is the drill where the ball is placed at the two yard line and seven plays are run. See how it went on Sunday.
Defense wins 7 shots 4-3. Roethlisberger started 0-2, then hit Diontae Johnson short to score on the third rep.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
Haskins went 2/2 with TDs to Rico Bussey both times.
If there’s a scuffle, expect Big Dan
For some reason, Big Dan Moore Jr. loves to stir it up. Whenever there is dust up along the line of scrimmage, expect Moore to be a part of it. Shockingly, the Steelers don’t seem too upset about it, after all Adrian Klemm is preaching nothing but aggressiveness this year from his offensive line.
Another scrap at the line. Again, Dan Moore Jr looked to be in the middle of it. He’s got the edge the OL has been looking for, that’s for sure.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
Zach Banner doing what?!
Read the below tweet as many times as necessary. Don’t be shocked if you see tackles going in motion in Matt Canada’s offense.
Matt Canada just put Zach Banner in motion. The big man is *thriving*— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
Buddy Johnson promotion
I was pleasantly surprised to see Buddy Johnson get a bump up on the depth chart. It seems Johnson is getting reps with the second string, meaning he is playing over the likes of Ulysees Gilbert III and Marcus Allen. To be honest, he deserves it.
Robert Spillane and Buddy Johnson are the ILBs with the second-team defense.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 15, 2021
OLine almost complete
Outside of Kendrick Green, the Steelers had most of their entire projected offensive line active for Sunday’s non-padded practice. The entire projected starting offensive line, from left to right, has yet to practice together once since training camp began.
OL for first 11-on-11:— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
LT Okorafor, LG Dotson, C Hassenauer, RG Turner, RT Banner
2 minute drill
Unlike Saturday, the Steelers had two successful two-minute drills done Sunday. Dwayne Haskins was working with the starters, and Mason Rudolph was running with the backups. Both scored touchdowns.
Haskins, working with the 1s, rebounded from back-to-back incompletions to Smith-Schuster to complete three straight throws and finish the two-minute drill with a TD to Claypool.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
Mason Rudolph now going through the 2 min drill with the 2s.
Mason Rudolph gets the ball to Cody White at the 1 with 15 seconds left.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 15, 2021
After a timeout, Rudolph lofts a high ball to Baugh, incomplete.
2nd pass, broken up. 3rd, he completes to Anthony Johnson for the TD
Long and winding road
Joe Schobert has certainly been through a lot since entering the NFL. In fact, his six seasons had him in six different defensive schemes. Schobert likely has seen, and done, enough in six years to make this transition to Pittsburgh a smooth one.
Joe Schobert said the Steelers will present the sixth scheme he has played in as he enters his sixth NFL season. All that turnover in Cleveland accounts for that stat.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 15, 2021
“Hey Joe, we need to talk...”
Schobert told a story about the Steelers seeking him out and wanting him, while Mike Tomlin told a tale about the Jaguars was presented to him. In the end it doesn’t matter, Schobert is in town and should be an immediate improvement for the Steelers’ defense.
Joe Schobert said Jags GM Trent Baalke told him the Steelers called early Thursday and were very persistent in their pursuit of him. That’s a different story than Mike Tomlin told yesterday when he said Schobert was presented to them.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 15, 2021
Getting a face lift
Heinz Field had a ton of slips on Saturday, and it is getting a bit of a face lift after practice Sunday. The turf is getting new sod in between the hash marks, and is in preparation for the Detroit Lions preseason game at Heinz Field this Saturday night.
New sod being laid between the hash marks at Heinz Field pic.twitter.com/R8bpkqAxYY— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 15, 2021
BTSC Training Camp Recap Podcast
.@missi_matthews & @DVEMike talk about the @steelers addition of @TheSchoGoesOn53, his first practice in Black & Gold and more on Training Camp Wrap Up, presented by @UPMCHealthPlan. pic.twitter.com/53fqD4esCY— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) August 15, 2021
Steelers RB coach Eddie Faulkner seems enamored with the skillset of Najee Harris— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 15, 2021
Asked if Harris has been what the Steers expected so far: pic.twitter.com/mFLPeE9TTG
Question I had here just now for Terrell Edmunds: pic.twitter.com/9Www139CeM— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) August 15, 2021
Joe Schobert meets with the media after his first practice with the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/VDwHKXBwBT— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 15, 2021
The Scho is coming to Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/i2UH8npOW9— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 14, 2021