After a well-deserved day off, the Pittsburgh Steelers were back at St. Vincent Field for their first padded practice of the season.
In this expectedly physical and spirited session, the following storylines were presented: the return of the 'Backs-on-Backers'; a linebacker ubiquitous on the field, and a rookie quarterback having a much better day.
So Steelers fans, let's go!
Camp Injury/Participation Report:
S Minkah Fitzpatrick (wrist)
DL Tyson Alualu (knee)
S Miles Killebrew (pictoral)
WR Chase Claypool (shoulder)
LB Marcus Allen (lower body)
TE Pat Freiermuth (Hamstring)
RB Jeremy McNichols (Unknown)
Joining the injury list was linebacker Marcus Allen, who sustained a lower body injury during the team practice on Day 4.
Still awaiting a new contract, receiver Diontae Johnson did not participate in today's practice according to sources in attendance. Instead, Johnson was seen catching balls with one hand along the side. The question pending is whether he will partake in any of the padded practices going forward.
The biggest injury story involved running back Najee Harris, who was seen having his foot examined by trainers. Based on Steelers analyst Zac Celedonia's report, the severity of Harris' foot or ankle injury did not seem serious.
Camp Notes And Highlights:
Defense Wins "Seven Shots" Again.
Defense dominated the "seven shots" drill by a score of 5-2. In addition to a sack on rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett by defensive back Tre Norwood, linebacker Myles Jack contributed with a pass deflection, while linebacker Robert Spillane and defensive back Damontae Kazee stopped Harris during the drill.
Kendrick Green "Hated" Playing at Center
Prior to this afternoon's practice, Green openly admitted he disliked playing at center last season, and how his preference was always at the guard position. This afternoon, he was seen working with the first-team offense over Kevin Dotson.
"Back-on-Backers" Drill is Back!
With pads back on, the always-popular 'Back-on-Backers' drill made its training camp debut again. The following results are based on Steelers analyst Nick Farabaugh's reports:
- Linebacker Devin Bush Jr. lost two reps to running back Benny Snell Jr.
- UDFA running back Jaylen Warren won reps against linebackers Mark Robinson(rookie) and Robert Spillane.
- Veteran linebacker Genard Avery dominated the day, going 4-0 in the drill.
- Rookie tight end Connor Heyward and linebacker Tuzar Skipper got back-to-back reps. Heyward won the first and Skipper won the second.
Myles Jack Was A Star In Pads
Whether he was making plays in coverage during "seven shots," blowing up plays during team drills, or taking down running back Najee Harris, Jack's athleticism and playmaking abilities were on display in pads. Perhaps this is a preview of what Steelers fans should expect to see against opposing teams this season.
Kenny Pickett Getting His Shot
After a rough Week 1, rookie Kenny Pickett got an opportunity to play with the second-team offense. Though he did not record any touchdowns in the "seven shots" drill, he made a few plays to remind the fans that he is at his best when he uses his mobility. During team drills, he made connections with receivers Miles Boykin and Connor Heyward. Overall, it was his best day at training camp so far.