Perhaps a day that many would have never thought would have arrived, today marked the first day of pads for the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. With the acclimation period now over, each player was finally given their opportunity to prove their value and make a case for a spot on the active roster.
Today's practice storylines include; a veteran's contract situation, unexpected injuries, and rookies making an impression at camp.
So Steelers fans, let's go!
The first notable injury, as reported by Joe Rutter of TribLIVE.com involved defensive end Chris Wormley, who unable to participate in today's session due to a lower body injury. Detailed further in head coach Mike Tomlin's post-practice press conference, veteran offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey was excused from practice for personal reasons. Other notable absences from today's session included veteran offensive linemen David DeCastro and receiver James Washington, who are both battling injuries classified as day-to-day.
Storyline To Follow:
Prior to today's session, Steelers beat reporter Dale Lolley posted an update on veteran Cameron Heyward's contract status. As it stands, Heyward has yet to sign a contract extension. As reported by Lolley, Heyward made his intention clear to be with the Steelers organization the remainder of his career. At this point, Heyward's agents are still in discussions, but his future with the team following this season is uncertain.
Training Camp Report:
Rookie receiver Chase Claypool put on a show today. By all accounts, Claypool impressed the coaches and players with his acrobatic catches, notably during the 'Seven Shots' drill according to Lolley's report. One of the reasons why he was so highly coveted by the Steelers, was his catch radius. As seen in this clip, Claypool may end up becoming one of Ben Roethlisberger's favorite targets.
Video courtesy of: Mark Kaboly
Claypool was not the only rookie making an impression, linebacker Alex Highsmith and running back Anthony McFarland Jr. were prominently featured in the 'Backs on Backers' drill according to Lolley's report.
Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar had high praise for veteran defensive end Stephon Tuitt. After having his season cut short due to a season-ending injury, Tuitt's presence on the defensive line means trouble for opposing offenses this upcoming season.