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 held an early practice Thursday, and it was closed to the public. It was also the final practice of 2021 training camp. This camp was different in a lot of ways. It was the first camp which had fans in attendance since 2019, but it was far from what fans are accustomed to seeing at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.
On top of that, the Steelers were preparing for a preseason which was normal for the fans, but anything but normal for the players. The Steelers reported to camp earlier than 30 other NFL teams as they prepared to play the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame game. While this has continued to be viewed as a bonus, it has made things different for the opposition. For instance, when the Steelers played the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 of the NFL Preseason, it was their second exhibition game. However Philadelphia was making the preseason debut.
It has made for some different matchups, and also difficult to gauge players’ development at times. Nonetheless, the Steelers have pressed on without hesitation.
Camp has concluded, and there is a lot to decipher about this team as more cuts loom large. Who will make the team? Who will be released? There are still two exhibition games to decide the fate of those players. In the meantime, let’s see what else went down at the final practice at Heinz Field...
This is your daily update on the Steelers’ favorite goal line drill “7 Shots”. The team hadn’t done this drill the past few days, but threw it in again at the conclusion of camp.
Mason Rudolph and Ben Roethlisberger were the only two QBs to run 7 shots today. Offense won 6-1.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
Ben inc Diontae Johnson (Maulet in coverage)
Ben —> Washington over Haden
Ben —> Freiermuth
Ben —> JuJu
Rudolph —> Johnson
Fans should remember there are times when Ben Roethlisberger wants to work on specific things during practice. There is a good chance today Roethlisberger wanted to test the deep ball. He didn’t connect, but arm strength looks to be pretty good heading into the regular season.
On the first two plays vs. scout defense, Ben Roethlisberger tries to air it out a little.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
He overthrows Diontae Johnson on a 30+ pass to the end zone, then just misses Eric Ebron a play later on about a 15-20yd throw. Ball hit Ebron's finger tips but was just out of reach.
More team drills took place Thursday, especially considering the Steelers had a simulated work week leading up to the preseason game vs. the Detroit Lions Saturday night. Here are some updates from those team drills.
1s D vs. 2s O - Mason Rudolph tried to force it in the corner of the end zone into double coverage and Terrell Edmunds comes down with the pick.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
Cody White with a nice grab in the back of the end zone on a pass Rudolph threaded into him. Ballage getting the majority of the second-team RB snaps.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 19, 2021
Haskins with a nice back-shoulder throw to Bussey for a completion against Sutton. But he's then picked by a leaping Joe Haden who tips the ball to himself and catches it.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 19, 2021
It doesn’t look like the quarterback depth chart is going to be changing anytime soon. We all should have expected this barring a huge drop off from Mason Rudolph.
QB progression today has been Roethlisberger with the 1s, then Rudolph, then Haskins.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
I know Haskins has looked good at times, esp in 2nd preseason game, but I don't think he's done enough to unseat Rudolph at No. 2. Still time, of course, but Rudolph is still the favorite.
Bussey and the Practice Squad?
Rico Bussey has made a name for himself during 2021 training camp, but has he done enough to make the team? That has yet to be decided, but one thing is for sure, he would fit nicely on the practice squad. One has to wonder if he will be poached by another team if the Steelers release him.
Seen it throughout camp, but Rico Bussey has an obvious connection with Dwayne Haskins. Had a nice grab on a long ball before the interception. I think Cody White has a better chance of earning a roster spot in a crowded WR room, but Bussey could stick as a practice squad guy.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
It seemed fitting Najee Harris was the last player on the practice field the last day of camp. The kid has been a work horse both on and off the field since the first day he stepped foot in the team facility. The team will need Harris at his best this season, and hopefully the extra work pays off.
Najee Harris still on the field about 15 min after the end of practice, working on catching passes at the goal line. He was also the last guy on the field yesterday, too.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
Thursday the Steelers pumped in crowd noise at Heinz Field to simulate a real game setting. It might be weird for players who played in 2020 to have fans in seats in 2021 at the start of the season.
And now we've got crowd noise being pumped into Heinz Field, simulating a typical Friday practice with the crowd noise during team drill.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 19, 2021
"The emphasis for this outing, as it pertains to the quarterback position, is getting Ben his first in-stadium exposure of the preseason."— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 19, 2021
Full press conference: https://t.co/4dZh0EKuTt pic.twitter.com/8mNv8mj4R7