With their week one contest against the New York Giants a little over two weeks away, the Pittsburgh Steelers returned to Heinz Field this afternoon for their practice following their day off. Considering the number of NFL teams who cancelled practice in protest of the Wisconsin shooting of Jacob Blake, there was a possibility of the Steelers following this trend. Rather, this day represented the start of their preparation for the upcoming season, with a socially conscious tone.
Today's story lines include; a safety getting his chance a new position, a busy day for a kicker, and a receiver making special plays on special teams.
So Steelers fans, let's go!
The story of the day was the number of players who returned either at limited or full capacity to participate in today's session. These players were offensive lineman Kevin Dotson (knee), offensive lineman Chuks Okorafor (groin), running back Wendell Smallwood (shoulder), safety Terrell Edmunds, receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, receiver Diontae Johnson (calf), defensive end Chris Wormley (shoulder) and fullback Derek Watt.
The players who did not participate in today's session were running back Kerrith Whyte, tight end Eric Ebron, receiver Ryan Switzer, and long snapper Kameron Canaday. In his post practice press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin announced that rookie Anthony McFarland Jr. was placed in concussion protocol with no further update on his status.
Training Camp Report
During his time at Penn State, third-year safety Marcus Allen was known for his position versatility. In today's session, his versatility was put to the test, as he was given a chance to run with the linebackers.
Speaking of Allen, based on Bob Labriola's Camp Report, he had a rough day in several drills against second-year running back Benny Snell Jr. Whether it was with finesse or brute strength, Snell Jr. was able to beat Allen in all their matchups.
Receiver Ray-Ray McCloud has made quite the impression in training camp since his arrival. According to Labriola, on McCloud's first rep on kickoff returns/coverage, he made his way upfield, made a cut inside and returned it the rest of the way.
Veteran kicker Chris Boswell had a busy day, according to Labriola's report. He successfully made kicks of 40, 41, 34, 42, 45, 50, and 48 yards. For good measure, he made one from 55-yards during the live drill.
Another day, another splash play for safety Curtis Riley, as he accounted for a pass defended in 'seven-on-sevens'.