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...
Sunday’s training camp practice was a pretty typical practice, and the Steelers faithful in attendance got to see some new names putting the pads on and getting ready for their next exhibition game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles this Thursday.
One of the players who is just returning to the lineup is guard Kevin Dotson. Dotson has been limited in the early portions of camp, and is just now participating in full team activities. When Dotson returned Sunday, he was with the second string. Following practice Mike Tomlin was asked what he thought of Dotson’s performance. Here was his answer:
“I can’t tell you. I’ll look at the tape first. It was good to have him back out there today.”
Tomlin was later asked again about Dotson playing with the backups, and not the starters. After all, the official depth chart has him as a starter and almost everyone assumed he would be a starter when Week 1 rolled around.
Tomlin didn’t mince words when answering the question.
“He has done nothing to earn first-team reps. What are we talking about? He’s a second-year guy that hadn’t worked.”
Immediately fans remembered the reports of Dotson not being in the favor of the coaching staff this offseason. Some reports even stated he was out of shape. Despite the out of shape rumors being debunked, many fans were assuming Tomlin’s second quote was more about Dotson’s physical shape than him working back into the lineup.
When you watch Tomlin’s post-practice media session, you can tell he is talking about how Dotson is just getting back to practice, not that he is out of shape or in the proverbial dog house.
Nonetheless, with Steelers Twitter ablaze, Dotson felt it necessary to calm the storm and respond to some of the tweets. Here was his response to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor:
When he says I haven’t worked I legit have not been practicing ,out with a injury .sounds weird when read on Twitter https://t.co/Z3MhIVmU5x— Steelersfan696969 (@kdd7696) August 8, 2021
Tomlin went on to talk about what he thought of Rashaad Coward, and he spoke glowingly of the veteran lineman who has been filling in for Dotson in his absence.
“I think he’s done an excellent job. He has the mannerisms and the demeanor of a veteran and that’s needed, particularly when we’re going through the transition we’re going through at that group when we’re missing some guys or work at that group. His level of maturity and experience is showing and it’s an asset to him and to us.”
Will Dotson work his way back to the starting lineup? It isn’t a given, but luckily for Dotson he has plenty of time to rectify the situation with his play.
Time to check out some other information from practice Sunday...
Who’s in, and who’s out
A quick look at those who did, and did not, participate in the Steelers’ training camp practice at Heinz Field.
Still don't see Stephon Tuitt on the practice field for the second straight day. He hasn't participated yet, but he's been at every practice until yesterday.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2021
Benny Snell, Kalen Ballage, Antoine Brooks and Ray Ray McCloud also don't appear to be practicing.
Snaps, snaps and more snaps
In the past week or so there have been reports of Ben Roethlisbeger having to use both his size and athleticism to corral some of rookie Kendrick Green’s snaps. As reported by Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports, the two work working diligently on the task before the team aspect of camp began Sunday.
Kendrick Green and Ben Roethlisberger working relentlessly on shotgun snaps. All clean. 100%. And lots of communication, too.— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) August 8, 2021
In case people still thought T.J. Watt was sitting on the couch eating bonbons, he continues to be the hardest worker on the field.
T.J. Watt hitting the sled with his teammates during indivudals— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 8, 2021
Your daily update on the ‘7 Shots’ drill which puts the football at the two yard line and seven plays run. Who wins the majority wins the drill.
Offense won today’s 7 shots 4-3, thanks to four straight TDs by Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph. Defense won the last three reps, including one where there was a bad snap by the center on Haskins’ first rep. He recovered the ball, but the pass was batted down by Roche.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2021
2 minute drill
The Steelers did practice the two-minute drill Sunday, and Dwayne Haskins failed to lead the offense to a touchdown. Nonetheless, it was Josh Dobbs who was able to captain a scoring drive vs. the backups.
While Dwayne Haskins wasn’t successful in his two-minute drill with a throw on fourth down that hit the turf, Josh Dobbs scored on his with a 10-yard throw to Anthony Johnson with about 10 seconds left. OL John Leglue celebrated by lifting Johnson up Simba style.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2021
Dobbs getting 3rd team reps
Speaking of Josh Dobbs, it seems as if he is getting more and more work with the second and third strings. Mike Tomlin talked about how Dobbs isn’t out of the fight at quarterback, and they seem to be giving Dobbs every opportunity to win a job.
Josh Dobbs getting some 11-on-11 reps now with the third-team offense and against the third-team defense, and he's putting the ball where it needs to be. Running the offense well.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 8, 2021
Chuks Okorafor met with media following practice and he spoke about how he was dealing with an injury. That injury has hindered his participation in the first few weeks of training camp, but despite the injury he admitted he was close to playing in the Hall of Fame game Thursday night.
Chuks Okorafor said he was dealing with something when he started camp, but he feels fine now. Said it was 50/50 whether he played in the HOF game.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2021
The Steelers typically make two players available to the media following practice, and after Chuks Okorafor it was supposed to be Devin Bush. But Bush didn’t show. Maybe Bush was getting treatment, or had a previous engagement, but the media will have to wait to ask Bush about his odd Twitter activity this past offseason.
Devin Bush was supposed to meet with the media after practice. He didn’t. We were told maybe tomorrow.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 8, 2021
BTSC Training Camp Recap Podcast
#LIVE: Hear from @MathewSexton2 and about everything that happened at today’s practice at @heinzfield on Training Camp Wrap Up, presented by @UPMCHealthPlan.— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) August 8, 2021
For more Training Camp coverage, watch @NFLNetwork https://t.co/LbuPneD0Ph