Intense rain and 30 mph winds were not enough to keep the Pittsburgh Steelers from taking the field at St. Vincent for the second day of training camp this afternoon. Once the rain subsided, the team was back to business for what was a spirited and productive practice.
The storylines for Day 2 of training camp included: the carousel at left guard continues; a quarterback that came with a hot hand; and a receiver making a strong case for a spot on the roster.
Steelers fans, let's go!
Camp Injury/Participant Report:
No changes from yesterday, as the same names remain sidelined. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was a non-participant due to a wrist injury, defensive lineman Tyson Alualu remained out with a knee ailment, and safety Miles Killebrew, who was out with a pectoral injury. Later, reported by KDKA TV Sports director Bob Pompeani, was tight end Pat Freiermuth leaving practice with lower body tightness.
According to various reports, Pro Bowl receiver Diontae Johnson relegated his participation to individual drills and training on the sidelines. This is likely to be a common theme as Johnson waits for a new contract. If there are any good signs, he was still on the field for over an hour following the end of practice, as noted by Steelers beat writer Dale Lolley.
Camp Notes And Highlights:
The competition at the left guard position continues to be the most intriguing story in training camp. In a twist, Kendrick Green worked with the first-team offensive line in place of Kevin Dotson, who did so on Day 1. The following, provided by Steelers/Pitt writer Alan Saunders, was a glimpse of how fierce the current competition is at left guard.
Mitch Trubisky was on fire during the 'seven shots' drill. In his series, he connected with tight end Zach Gentry, receiver Chase Claypool and receiver Anthony Miller for touchdowns, according to analyst Nick Farabaugh's reports. Trubisky would later connect with receiver Gunner Olszewski on a 15-yard touchdown during one of the team drills, and with rookie receiver Calvin Austin. With the exception of two interceptions on this day, Trubisky was efficient, accurate, and likely solidified himself as the team's QB1.
So far, Anthony Miller has done nothing but catch everything that has come in his direction. Though his name was not mentioned much this offseason, his first two days have been a reminder of the type of playmaker he can be. If he continues trending the way he has, it would be hard to deny him a spot on the team's active roster.
The growing pains continued for rookie Kenny Pickett, as he did not participate in the 'Seven shots' drill. During team drills, he accounted for an interception and some incompletions. Despite the early camp struggles, one can expect him to improve quickly in the upcoming days.
Linebacker Devin Bush Jr. has been trending in the right direction. On Day 1, he accounted for a sack. In 'seven shots' this afternoon, he accounted for an interception. An offseason of real training is so far paying off for the former Michigan Wolverine star.
Rookie Calvin Austin III was doing it all today. Whether he was showing his speed while returning punts or running routes and making receptions, Austin III may be the real deal. With Johnson not participating in team drills, Austin III may end up as the biggest beneficiary of his absence.
Lastly, what would be a training camp without a camp scuffle? Last year, it was then-rookie offensive tackle Dan Moore Jr. at the center of many of them. Today, it was Mason Cole against the opposing defensive line, according to Steelers and Pitt analyst Noah Strackbein.