The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Saint Vincent College for the first time since 2019, and fans have descended on Latrobe, PA in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 2022 team.
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 a lot of questions marks across the roster, and it will take every practice and preseason game for the coaching staff to find a way to get answers to those questions. There were a lot of storylines to come out of Monday’s practice, and we highlight some of those below:
The Steelers moved their practice from Saint Vincent College to Latrobe HS, and the practice marked the return of several players who had missed practices due to injury. Of note, Larry Ogunjoby (foot), Chase Claypool (shoulder), Levi Wallace (illness), Cam Sutton (knee) and Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) were all back in pads. Earlier Monday it was announced Tyson Alualu (knee) was taken off the PUP List, and returned to practice with his teammates.
Ogunjobi. Claypool, Fitzpatrick, Levi Wallace among those taking part in team activities today. Alualu in pads as is Freiermuth.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 8, 2022
As for Najee Harris, he is getting close to returning, but hasn’t been back in full pads since having his foot stepped on last week.
Najee Harris isn’t in full pads, but he’s participating in individuals today. Most he’s worked since the minor foot injury. pic.twitter.com/0yu0AcqDC3— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2022
Before reading too much into the below statistics, understand the skill position players didn’t do anything to help their quarterbacks in this drills. Several drops equated in the defense winning the opening drill.
7 shots: Trubisky 2-4. Rudolph 0-2. Pickett 0-1. Nice toe tap score for Diontae Johnson on second play.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 8, 2022
7 Shots, Part Deux
The Steelers returned to 7 Shots later in practice, and the offense got the best of the defense. That is a feat which hasn’t been able to be said much this camp.
After the defense won the first 7 shots, Steelers close practice with another 7 shots and the offense wins 4-3.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2022
Goal line Work
The Steelers ran what is usually the Friday Night Lights practice plan, and that includes some extremely physical drills. In this respect, one of those drills is the goal line drill. The two units line up, the ball is handed off, and you see which unit wins.
On the third rep, Benny Snell gets his revenge and goes up and over the pile to score.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2022
Tomlin: “Way to run, Benny” https://t.co/8nMprL8gOW
The Steelers did their usual run periods, where the focus is on running the ball, and stopping the run. Both units had their plays, and Benny Snell had himself a pretty good day filling in for Najee Harris.
Benny Snell just broke loose up the middle in a third-down short yardage period. Eventually brought down by Cam Sutton and TJ Watt, but big celebration for a big play for the offense.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2022
First team run period ends with Justin Layne getting a TFL on Master Teague.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2022
Other notable tackle: Larry Ogunjobi wrapping up Anthony McFarland. Believe this is the first time we’ve seen Ogunjobi in a team period.
Kenny on the run
Kenny Pickett is far from a finished product, but if there is one part of his game which is already polished it is his ability to throw accurately on the run. He did it well at Pitt, and is doing it in the NFL for the Steelers.
I keep seeing this from Pickett -- he's the best QB they have throwing on the run and I am talking about designed sprint-outs.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 8, 2022
There are certain things which always irritate coaches. In the sport of football, turning the ball over is usually one of them. However, if you were to get more specific, unforced errors, like fumbling snaps, might trump everything. Mason Rudolph, in back-to-back repetitions, had two QB/Center fumbles. Mike Tomlin wasn’t pleased.
2 center/Bfumbles by Mason Rudolph in his 2 reps at goalline. Tomlin was pissed. Not sure who was at fault but back-to-back is unacceptable.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 8, 2022
Connor Heyward, Swiss Army Knife
With Derek Watt not practicing, it was Connor Heyward who filled in at fullback. Heyward has played primarily tight end, but is proving the more you can do, the better chance of making the roster.
Connor Heyward playing fullback today with Derek Watt not practicing.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 8, 2022
If the 2021 Steelers offensive line lacked anything, it would likely be a lack of physicality. Against the full defense, not a watered down version without players like Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt, the starting offensive line was able to get physical and win some of those battles. A good sign.
Steelers' offensive line was real physical today. Got the best of the D on a number of occasions.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 8, 2022
While the Steelers got several players back from injury, they also lost several to injury. After practice Mike Tomlin labeled Diontae Johnson with a hip flexor injury and Alex Highsmith with a rib injury. On top of those, Kevin Dotson suffered an injured ankle, and several players had ice on different appendages to help decrease swelling in joints. Tomlin would label these as “bumps and bruises associated with football”.
Among those who did not finish practice were Diontae Johnson with a hip flexor and Alex Highsmith who hurt his ribs. Chase Claypool had wrap on his shoulder but was not mentioned by Tomlin. Kevin Dotson has ankle injury.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 8, 2022
Ulysees Gilbert III is in a boot today on his right foot. He went down in a tackling drill Saturday. He’s been having a good camp, but his career has been plagued by bad luck injuries. pic.twitter.com/mmgegIu0tE— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 8, 2022
Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Press Conference
Najee Harris with some stick skills pic.twitter.com/hWbaMvx1dQ— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 8, 2022
Steelers first round pick quarterback Kenny Pickett signs after practice at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe, Pa. pic.twitter.com/HBjEOnpQJL— Charles Palla (@ChazPalla) August 8, 2022