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...
James Washington has had a camp to remember, but for all the wrong reasons. Whether it was the reports of him requesting a trade or his injury, the 2021 camp has been a forgettable one for the former Oklahoma State standout.
No one roots for an injury, but as Mike Tomlin always says, “one mans misfortune creates another man’s opportunity.” That is exactly what happened when Chase Claypool went down with an ankle sprain Tuesday at the end of practice. This injury, while not serious, gave Washington a chance to prove himself worthy of a bigger role within the offense.
And don’t think Washington didn’t understand the situation presented to him Wednesday.
James Washington on practice today: "With Chase down, I've worked with the 1s a little bit more. All I can keep doing is capitalizing on every rep."— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
Washington took the opportunity and scored two touchdowns during team drills Wednesday. Not a bad day at the office for Washington, who just returned to practice this week.
After practice he met virtually with media and was asked about being more of a factor in the Steelers’ offensive plans.
I followed up and asked James Washington if he's approached coaches about being more involved in the offense this training camp:— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
"It's been talked about." https://t.co/1PtyYdA8ZB
While Washington didn’t say he requested a trade, you better believe he understands the situation he faces in a contract year.
Now onto the other news and notes from the Steelers’ final open training camp practice.
Not ideal circumstances
The Steelers practiced almost the entire day in the rain, sometimes with a very steady rain falling.
So we’ll apparently be embracing the elements here today: pic.twitter.com/rvmzNOWYNf— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) August 18, 2021
Defense getting together...sort of
Antoine Brooks Jr. returned to practice, which meant the Steelers’ defense was as close to whole as they’ve been since before the Hall of Fame game. That is, a defense without Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt.
Antoine Brooks, trying to start at slot corner, is also back practicing for the first time since the Hall of Fame Game. That means the Steelers have all their defensive players except TJ Watt and Stephon Tuitt.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 18, 2021
No Claypool, as expected
Chase Claypool was at practice, but not participating. No one was surprised by this revelation.
Chase Claypool isn't practicing today after sustaining a "mild ankle sprain" at the end of yesterday's practice. It's not expected to keep him out long.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
Team Drill Updates
There were a lot of updates from Steelers team drills Wednesday. Everything from 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills. Here are some snippets below:
Ben Roethlisberger carrying out a big pitch-fake, then rolls to his right away from the misdirection and fires a 15-yard out.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 18, 2021
Dwayne Haskins tried to force the ball deep to Anthony Johnson on the final play against scout defense and it's intercepted by Mark Gilbert.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
Couple big plays just now ... by the Steelers scout teams. Mark Gilbert picked off Dwayne Haskins on a deep ball, then Kevin Rader just had a long catch-and-run over the middle vs. the starting defense.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 18, 2021
Pierre breaks up a deep ball from Haskins to Sexton.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 18, 2021
Check that last Tweet. It was Dobbs who threw the ball Pierre broke up.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 18, 2021
Ben Roethlisberger finds James Washington for about 30 yards over the middle for a TD on the first play of 7 on 7. Washington making the most of his time with Claypool sidelined.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
Miles Killebrew picks off a Ben Roethlisberger deep shot intended for Diontae Johnson. James Pierre was in coverage, might've been PI, but he certainly tried to force one in there.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 18, 2021
Roethlisberger and the boys
Looking for some “feel good” moments from training camp? Leave that up to Ben Roethlisberger and his sons having a catch on the sideline during training camp.
Ben Roethlisberger's kids are here for this rainy practice.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
The two boys are playing catch with their dad during special teams, and his daughter is hanging over the railing watching them.
Boys look like p p good route runners, too.
Benny Snell is back
It is good to see/read/hear about Benny Snell being back at practice. Some might have a poor mental image of Snell, but if the offensive line can open holes, he can still be an impactful running back.
Benny Snell finished off this team period hitting the hole through the middle of the line and ripping off about a 15 yard gain. This is the most he's been in the mix since missing time with an unspecified lower-body injury.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 18, 2021
That’s a wrap, with fans
Wednesday was the last training camp practice fans could attend. Here is how it ended...
Steelers’ last practice with fans ends with a 5-yard TD from Mason Rudolph to James Washington, who went up and got it over top of Mark Gilbert, then a near-miss by Pat Freiermuth in the back of the end zone. Looked like he only got one foot down.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 18, 2021
BTSC Training Camp Recap Podcast
James Washington, asked if he can carve out a role in the offense this season pic.twitter.com/fakVoxE2Dt— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 18, 2021