Even with the pageantry surrounding this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremonies, the Pittsburgh Steelers held their 13th training camp practice on Heinz Field this afternoon. With the Hall of Fame game now behind them, the team has only five days before their next preseason game, against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Today's training Camp Storylines: A rookie has one heck of a day, a receiver surrounded by trade rumors makes a statement, and the linebackers having all sorts of issues against tight ends.
So, Steelers fans, let's go!
The most notable return in this afternoon's session was veteran tight end Eric Ebron, who was sidelined for a week with an elbow injury. To say the least, he was more than enthusiastic
in his return. The other notable returnee was rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth, left the team's August 3rd practice early with a shoulder injury.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr. did not participate in the afternoon session, along with linebacker TJ Watt, defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, and running back Benny Snell Jr.
Rookie Dan Moore Jr. Raises his game
One of the standouts for the Steelers in Thursday's Hall Of Fame Game, rookie Dan Moore Jr., took his strong performance into today's practice session. According to Steelers and Pitt writer Nick Farabaugh, Moore Jr.’s intensity was evident during one of the blocking drills. With each practice, Moore Jr. continues to grow in confidence.
James Washington Makes A Statement
Receiver James Washington has always been the type of player to let his play on the field do the talking for him. On Friday, he made headline news with his trade request following Thursday's Hall of Fame Game. Despite all this, Washington was impressive, as he provided the session's biggest highlight with a moss-like catch over cornerback Justin Layne during the 'Seven Shots' drill. He would later beat cornerback Shakur Brown during team drills.
Coverage Issues With The Linebackers
What became a troubling trend involved linebackers getting beat in coverage
In today's session, opposing tight ends or running backs had their way with almost all the linebackers, with the exception being undrafted linebacker Calvin Bundage and rookie Buddy Johnson. With their next preseason game only five days away, this should become an issue the Steelers staff will have to address quickly.
Pat Freiermuth Shines
Arguably the top performer on offense in today's session was rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. Despite being sidelined for several days with a shoulder injury, Freiermuth came out on fire by running top-quality routes while catching almost everything that came his way. He registered a touchdown against veteran linebacker Melvin Ingram III on a seam route, and a 20+ gain during team drills.