It was a day Steelers fans have waited for.
After four days without pads, the Pittsburgh Steelers took to the field at St. Vincent College on a spirited first day with pads. For those who have been following training camp over the years, things get real when contact is involved. On this day, we saw players who were relatively quiet in the first week come alive.
With all this noted, here are today's camp storylines. Firstly, a rookie tight end who had a tremendous day. Secondly, a receiver that doesn't need separation, and thirdly, the new guys who make a big first impression.
So Steelers fans, let's go!
The biggest story on the injury front surrounded rookie cornerback Cory Trice Jr., who went down with a leg injury during one of the drills. Based on reports, he was unable to put any weight on his right leg as he was carted off. Others on the injury list include running back Alfonzo Graham, who is out for the year with a shoulder injury, and defensive back Damontae Kazee, who is no longer in a walking boot but out with an ankle injury.
Day 5 Highlights and Top Performers
Darnell Washington Has A Huge Day -
Coming into this year's NFL Draft, rookie Darnell Washington was touted for his blocking ability. In fact, he was considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the nation last season with Georgia. On this day, he displayed his blocking prowess in a huge way against All-Pro linebacker T.J. Watt, not just once but twice during one-on-ones. Then, to add an exclamation to his big day, he catches a touchdown over cornerback James Pierre.
George Pickens Makes A Spectacular Catch With little room -
So, where have we heard this before? One thing we all know about receiver George Pickens is that he does not need much space to make highlight-worthy catches. In this instance, the victim was rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr., who had excellent coverage on him. All in all, there is not much one can do to cover this type of play.
Joey Porter Jr. Redeems Himself -
Despite the slight mishap with receiver George Pickens, rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. had a solid first day in pads, which included an interception on Mitch Trubisky during team drills.
Kwon Alexander Make An Impact -
During his interview on Sunday, the newest Steelers linebacker, Kwon Alexander, noted how he couldn't wait for the pads to come on. During team drills, she showed why as he gave rookie running back Darius Hagans his "welcome to the NFL" moment. One should expect more plays like this going forward.
Rookie Nick Herbig 'Ghost' Move Is A Problem -
Whether it was in one-on-ones against Conner Heyward or in team drills against fellow rookie Darnell Washington, rookie linebacker Nick Herbig was virtually unblockable on this day. He used his "ghost" move often, and it never failed him.
Broderick Jones Was Perfect in One-on-Ones -
After a dismal Day 4, rookie tackle Broderick Jones redeemed himself in a big way, going 4-for-4 in one-on-ones. Very encouraging showing by Jones and hopefully a sign of better things ahead.