After an intense first day in pads, the Pittsburgh Steelers entered Heinz Field this afternoon without pads for their eighth training camp session. Despite the absence of pads, the day proved to be just as competitive with several individual standouts.
Today's training camp storylines: A UDFA emerges, a cornerback who had another solid day, and a potential QB1 in the fold?
So, Steelers fans, let's go!
Despite not being a full participant, Steelers offensive lineman Kevin Dotson was seen today in shells and a helmet working with the second-team offensive line in walkthroughs, according to ESPN reporter Brooke Pryor. Center J.C Hassenauer was also a non-participant, still sidelined with a left knee injury.
The newest members of the injury list include tight end Eric Ebron, who left yesterday's practice with an elbow injury. Receiver Cody White was also sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained in yesterday's session. Veteran cornerback Joe Haden was given the day off.
UDFA Receiver Rico Bussey Emerges
Bussey was relatively quiet in yesterday's session, but today he displayed the skillset that made him a top receiver with North Texas. He accounted for two deep-ball receptions, one was tipped by cornerback Justin Layne — but somehow managed to complete the reception. He also registered a touchdown in the two-minute drill from quarterback Dwayne Haskins. With an impressive showing, Bussey is a name to follow in the upcoming days.
Is Dwayne Haskins The Team's Next QB1?
It is easy for fans to forget that Haskins was a top 20 pick due to his career shortcomings
In today's session, Haskins reminded people why he was highly touted coming out of Ohio State University. He accounted for deep completions to receiver Rico Bussey, including an 84-yard touchdown. During the 'seven shots' drill, he threw a touchdown pass
to receive Tyler Simmons and one dropped by tight end Dax Raymond. His mobility and accuracy in the last two sessions has distinguished him from both Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs. Though he is listed as the no. 2 quarterback on the current depth chart, he is playing like the potential successor to Ben Roethlisberger.
James Pierre With Another Solid Day
With each practice, Pierre continues to add distance to the competition for nickel cornerback. In today's session, he not only got the best of receiver Chase Claypool in one-on-ones, he registered a pass breakup on receiver James Washington, and forced an incompletion on receiver Juju Smith-Schuster during the 'Seven Shots' drill.
His stock continues to rise as he looks to lockdown the starting nickel position on the team.
Stephen Denmark Is An Intriguing Prospect
At 6'2 with 4.46 speed, Denmark in one of the most intriguing prospects on the Steelers roster. Like Bussey, he did not make much noise in yesterday's session. Today, however, he flashed his potential with a deep-pass breakup and a near one-handed interception during team drills. As a former wide receiver, Denmark has somewhat of an edge in ball skills, and was strong in coverage.