2021 Steelers Training Day 9 - Friday Night Lights

Photos: Karl Roser and Caitlyn Epes

Steelers fans were in full force for their traditional 'Friday Night Lights' event at Heinz Field, an event which eluded fans last year due to the covid-19 pandemic. After head coach Mike Tomlin's speech to the fans in attendance, the players got right to work and did not disappoint.

This evening's storylines: A quarterback making impressive throws, an unknown offensive lineman makes his presence felt, and James Pierre doing 'James Pierre' things.

So, Steelers fans, let's go


Injury Report

In -

Offensive lineman Kevin Dotson was in full pads and participated in the evening session. Dotson had been sidelined since the beginning of training camp with an injury.

Out -

  • JC Hassenauer ( Injured )

  • TJ Watt ( day off )

  • Cam Heyward ( day off )

  • Ben Roethlisberger ( day off )

  • Jaylen Samuels ( Injured )

  • Eric Ebron ( Injured )

  • Stephon Tuitt ( day off )


James Pierre Continues To Standout

What is becoming a common theme at this year's camp so far has been the impressive performances by cornerback James Pierre. During 'seven shop', he intercepted a pass intended for receiver Diontae Johnson on fade route, and returned it 106 yards to the opposing end zone. His coverage skills and ability to cover space made him arguably the best performer in the evening session. His stock continues to skyrocket with each practice.


An Up-And-Down Day For Najee Harris

As expected with rookies, running back Najee Harris' session has its share of peaks and valleys. During the 'backers on backs' drill against linebacker Alex Highsmith, he lost thefirst round but redeemed himself in round two. He would later win handily against rookie

linebacker Buddy Johnson. During team drills, he registered just 20 yards on three carries and dropped a play-action pass from quarterback Mason Rudolph. Later in the drill, he would record a catch over the middle against cornerback Cam Sutton.


Quincy Roche Displays His various Skills

Rookie linebacker Quincy Roche's diverse skillset was on display in the evening session. In one sequence, he read the pulling guard and registered a tackle of loss on running back Kalen Ballage. In another sequence, he executed a dip move and was able to register a pressure on quarterback Joshua Dobbs.


Joshua Dobbs Shines

Whether he was executing impressive throws off his back foot, over two defenders, or making throws across his body while in motion, quarterback Joshua Dobbs was one of the highlights of the Friday Night Lights practice. During 'seven shots', he registered a touchdown run and a touchdown pass to receiver Rico Bussey. As it stands, both he and Dwayne Haskins have been outplaying Mason Rudolph, who is currently listed as the backup quarterback. Even Dobbs and Haskins continue their strong performance, this could change.


Anthony Coyle Makes His Presence Felt

During the one-on-one drill, offensive lineman Anthony Coyle dominated defensive line Carlos Davis by throwing him violently into the turf. A scuffle soon ensued as both men had to be separated. The alum out of Fordham was signed by the Steelers in April 2020 but did not see any action last season. If Coyle continues to make this type of impression, he could see his stock rise quickly.

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