We come to the home stretch for the final days of Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 training camp in Latrobe, PA. Camp ends Thursday before the team’s second preseason game. Let’s talk about what happened on the 14th.
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Camp Notes (Day 14)
– Summary of damages. Not much of a player list like yesterday. Did not practice today: WR Calvin Austin III (foot), NT Montravious Adams (ankle), EDGE Alex Highsmith (ribs), FB Derek Watt (shoulder) and ILB Marcus Allen (ankle). Austin came down the steps of St. Vincent in sneakers, no boots, so that’s a silver lining. While Watt ran some sprints, Alex Highsmith and Marcus Allen ran some classes during practice. Watt may be the closest to a comeback, but they’re all working to bounce back.
SS Miles Killebrew was limited and did not operate as a group. Returning today includes WR Miles Boykin, OL Chaz Green, and RB Benny Snell. All worked perfectly. RB Master Teague suffered an ankle injury in the lineup and was injured before being taken back.
– Newly signed OG Bill Dunkle – good name, by the way – wears #68.
– The Steelers are in the thick of it for the second straight day to get out of the game. Check my notes last year and the first two practices after their preseason opener were in the shell. Mike Tomlin is taking a different approach this year. Trust the NFL rule that you can’t be in pads three days in a row so they have to be in a shell on Wednesday.
– Jaylen Warren’s ball security issues have been an issue this summer. Throughout the first half of practice, he held the ball at good safety, with three points of contact. He was walking up the stairs, with heating pads, clutched to his chest.
– Second team offensive line by the Heat: Haeg-Dotson-Hassenauer-Leglue-Scott. Dotson and Kendrick Green will be rolling again throughout the day.
– Third team O-line with roster shuffle to get 90 to 85. Haeg-C.Green-Gilliam-Dunkle-Tucker.
– Pat Freiermuth was involved in a punt return but only had three catches before hitting the football for the fourth catch. Maybe Zach Gentry can give it a shot tomorrow. See who came out on top.
– Gunner Olszewski works at tackle before entering the return line during special teams warmups.
-Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Marcel Pastor begins a line of scrimmage as all players line up and wait for the order. “Put it out, race it, run it!” He yells for the group to leave.
– WRs coach Frisman Jackson is a blur in coaching/teaching and keeping the ball on their shoulders. “Eyes to the sky, eyes to the sky!”
– Notes of special groups. Calling up data. 4.52 (72 yards), 4.12 (52 yards), 4.47 (53 yards), 4.92 (64 yards), 5.10 (54 yards, out of bounds), 5.30-ish (60 yards), 4.46 (44 yards), 4.99 (yards ) 61 yards), 4.93 (62 yards), 5.05 (61 yards). Harvey was as good as I’ve seen him today. His 72-yarder sailed over the head of Tyler Vons to where Vons backed up…and backed up…then turned and left. Its 5.30-ish approximate duration, I was a bit late on the running time, but it was a great hang time. A boot is out of bounds but Harvey was fantastic today. I don’t know, maybe releasing Cameron Nizialek put pressure on Harvey. Or maybe not.
On the punt team were Trey Norwood along with Jaylen Warren and Benny Snell as the starting wings. Warren was a second-string back with wings Donovan Steiner and Matteo Durant.
– Okay, let’s talk group session work.
First Team Session (Seven Shots)
1. Kevin Dotson at LG. Chris Wormley/Cam Heyward the DTs. Mitch Trubisky in QB 4×1 formation with George Pickens back X player. Najay Harris signaled to the pack/diamond set. Trubisky looks to that quad to balloon to Harris but doesn’t like the look and puts the ball on the QB draw. You guys know me and I’ll give the win to the defense any time a QB has a rushing TD but I’m sure the defense will get a stop like Minkah Fitzpatrick letting Trubisky duck and wag his finger like Dikembe Mutombo.
2. Trubisky throws to Deonte Johnson with an outstretched arm and an incomplete left side.
3. Claypool in the slot with Pickens and Johnson on the outside. Jaylen Warren is split on the left side. Confusion at the line and sense of speed early/rushed when James Daniels jumps early. It would have been a flag but the play continued, Trubisky rolled left, faded back, and finally hit TE Pat Freiermuth five yards deep and over the middle of the end zone for the score. I will give the victory here.
4. The two TE combination of Freiermuth and Zach Gentry. Warren in the backfield. Trubisky again finds Freiremuth straight up the left side for the score, with Cam Sutton trailing and covering. Touching
5. Anthony McFarland at RB. Kenny Pickett is in at QB. Fake Jet runs into Gunner Olszewski and left with Pickett’s boot. He hit McFarland in the left flat for a touchdown. Think he won Spillane. “Way to kill, Ant Mac,” Tomlin said, as he told him to “kill all the linebackers” earlier in camp.
6. “Let’s go,” the defense calls, down 3-2, needing to win the final two reps to win the day. Kenny Pickett in an empty suite. He made a good pass read and found Connor Heyward in the back of the end zone under the crossbar, who made a nice diving catch with James Pierre. TD
7. Kendrick Green at LG with 2s. Mason Rudolph in at QB, Benny Snell at RB. Rudolph fired a TD to Tyler Vons to short right for the score. Offense won seven shots 5-2 with the sixth TD on a QB tie.
– An unusually late back ‘fans made for camp service, the second they’ve officially done, though not as powerful and with added DBS for some cats/safety flashes.
They will return on the fans
1. Good rep and push by Jaylen Warren on Devin Bush.
2. Nice stamp by Naje Harris to seal Myles Jack upfield.
3. Terrell Edmunds blew by Anthony McFarland, who gave him a stretch shove but didn’t have much power behind it.
3. Arthur Mawlett doesn’t get to see much here compared to Master Teague.
4. They go again and there is more connection here with Maulet tearing in Teague.
5. Good slide by Buddy Johnson to hit Maeo Durant, who worked hard to recover but was hit.
6. Naje Harris dropped his eyes and head and Mark Robinson used it, put his right hand and pushed Harris’s ear hole, moving it to the side and passed him.
7. Nice initial jolt by Devin Bush on Jaylen Warren but Warren manages to recover and stay square.
8. Maulet slides quickly and beats McFarland to the edge, although evaluating DB rushes is a bit difficult.
9. Master Tighe turns his hips a little and swims past Robert Spillane.
10. They go again and Tighe pushes Spila up.
11. Best rush of the day, Terrell Edmunds running full speed and hitting the dirt on Mataeo Durant.
12. Johnson knocks Jaylen Warren off one leg with a powerful bull rush.
13. They go again. Johnson tried to swim, but Warren managed to seal it.
14. A great representative from Harris who controls Spillane full time.
15. They go again. Lock up and Spillane pulls Harris forward and falls, though Spillane loses his footing to go around at the end.
16. Warren’s strong connection to Norwood. Not sure who won the rep.
17. McFarland defeated Carlins Plateau.
18. Platt can rip around Durant at the rim.
19. Good fight but Tighe wins against Mark Robinson.
20. They go again and Robinson makes it good for Teague, running and hitting him for a really good rep.
21. Robinson’s hard shove can keep Teague off balance.
22. Warren and Bush go at it. Warren was able to punch his hands first and take control of the block and defeat the agent.
23. Warren pushed the bush with a seal.
24. Harris misses the punch and passes Norwood.
25. Fast swim runs on Buddy Johnson Teague.
26. Durant resists Robinson’s power rush. It leans, it is not perfect, it works.
Second group meeting
1. The handshake between Bill Dunkel and Kevin Rader when they were introduced to each other. A backup came in to start this session, starting a live tackle session. Carlos Davis and Donovan Jeter DTs with Hamilcar Rashid Jr. and Ron Dale Carter OLBs. Offensive Line: Haeg-C.Green-Gilliam-Dunkel-Tucker. Justin Layne and Chris Steele the CBs. Mason Rudolph at QB and center. 13 people. Tighe carries to the left for a couple. Steele puts the elbow on the side and Tig’s leg is bent awkwardly. He got up and bravely tried to get back into the cage, but the trainers pulled him aside and John Norwig examined him before Tage got on the cart and left.
2. Playaction for 19 from Rudolph to middle hitting WR Christian Blake, Steele to roll-up to tackle coverage, although not going to the ground.
3. Rudolph below center back. Donovan Steiner flies behind the line to tackle Matao Durant.
4. Blake and Tyler Vaughn with Tyler Snead in the slot. Four yards as Durant ran up the middle and onto the mound.
5. Solving. Trubisky at center and center. Johnson and Claypool receivers on 12 personnel. Jaylen Warren tackled around the LOS, Larry Ogunjobi made the stop. Cam Heyward was pleased with the result, saying, “Good job!”
6. Genard Avery at ROLB. Najay Harris singles up the middle for three. Terrell Edmunds fills the lane and Ogunjobi is in there.
7. Harris on the right. Ogunjobi again in a nutshell. Very active this session.
8. Trubisky shot. Finish left to Claypool but it’s only a gain of two. Cam Sutton runs through Steven Sims’ block and makes the stop.
9. Kenny Pickett at QB. A low scan from Hassenauer, however, Pickett could fix. Handoff pointed to McFarland and burst for five yards.
10. DeMarvin Leal and Isaiah Loudermilk DTs. Pony Team with McFarland and Snell. Snell carries up the middle for six, good pressure by the o-line here.
11. Picket below the center. Olszewski in the slot, Blake and Sims on the outside. Snell carries for three, driving this run down the right side. James took Pierre and put him back in.
Third group session
1. Ball on offense 26. Mitch Trubisky at QB, empty set. Harris was divided. Throw him in a flat for ten with Deontay Johnson under center.
2. Devin Bush and Myles Jack are ILBs. Wormely-Alualu-Heyward face down. Kevin Dotson entered at LG. George Pickens and Chase Claypool are the two WRs in the Twins set. Trubisky completes to Claypool’s left side, with Terrell Edmunds on the scoreboard for an 11 gain. Devin Bush came free on a snap for a sack.
3. Devin Bush and Robert Spillane ILBs. TJ Watt and Genard Avery the OLBs. Screen left to Naje Harris for three gain. Harris crumpled at the end of this rep.
4. The pocket completely collapses under a heavy blitz on Trubisky. Burns down the left side for Deonte Johnson but misses a step or two in front and isn’t done.
5. Kenny Pickett at QB, Anthony McFarland at RB. A bubble screen was perfectly completed to Steven Sims for four yards.
6. Leal-Mondeaux-Loudermilk the DL. But Delontae Scott the LOLB was sidelined. Pickett checks it to Benny Snell on the left for four. Good finish Hamilcar Rashid Jr tries to punch the ball in, Mike Tomlin is happy when he calls the final “Ham”.
7. Picket gun. A five-yard completion to Kevin Rader on the right, James Pierre fails to slide the ball in time.
8. Picket again in the gun. Pierre and Levi Wallace out with Tre Norwood in the slot. Safeties Damonta Kazee and Donovan Steiner. Pickett passed to Gunner Olszewski for nine yards.
9. Jordan Tucker at LT, Chase Green at LG, Nate Gilliam at center. Mason Rudolph Blank Collection. Booting Tyler Snead on the left side and hitting him for a 14 gain, Snead gets open and picks up the YAC before Steiner takes the angle and gets tagged. NCB Carlin’s Platte was kicked off the rim by a cat (nickel corner).
10. Justin Laine and Chris Steele with Plateau in the slot. Lyndon Stephens and Steiner Security Alliance. Rudolph threw to Vons on the left side, and Vons dived down the sideline, but the ball fell into his hands as he went to ground. Platelet cover. Carlos Davis steps back and hits Rudolph, who stumbles back a bit.
11. I don’t know if it was part of the rotation or if the QB was hit but Davis was pulled. Loudermilk-Jeter-Khalil Davis bottom linemen. A collection of ponies with McFarland on the field. Rudolph leans left to right and finishes for nine yards, White high above his head and making a good hook.
12. O-line of: Haeg-C.Green-Gilliam-Dunkel-Tucker. 11 people. It blew to McFarland’s right screen, Mark Robinson exploded and made the stop for a tough six loss.
The fourth group meeting
1. Lar and Ogunjobi and Cam Heyward TDs. Mitch Trubisky the QB, Fitzpatrick and Edmunds with Watt/Avery the EDGE rushers and Jack/Bush the ILBs. Najee Harris the RB. Trubisky under center. Harris ran for four yards, Mason Cole went to second base and tackled Devin Bush.
2. Trubisky Gun. Twelve yard completion to Pat Freiermuth over the middle.
3. Deonte Johnson and Chase Claypool on the right side of the offense, with Claypool in the slot, split behind Connor Heyward and X. Trubisky hitting Johnson for five.
4. Trubisky under center. Tight formations with the WR attack the line on the square, with a two-point stance like an old Wing-T offense. Olszewski jet from right to left. Sims struggles to hold his inhibitions and this game basically goes nowhere. Sims is jumping up and down after the game, either a little dazed or a little crazy or both.
5. 12 people. Pickett left flat to Olzewski, Devin Bush got a hand on his arm and took him out for no gain. Nice game by Bush.
6. Safety pairing of Damontae Kazee and Donovan Stiner. Pier & Steele CBS, Norwood, is competitively positioned with 11 employees. Genard Avery is pressured and Kenny Pickett has to go up and throw to the right to drop a pass to Steven Sims as DB barrels down.
7. Pickett completes this time to Sims’ right side for a seven-yard gain. James Pierre on the label.
8. Delontae Scott and Ron’Dell Carter the OLBs. Norwood still in the slot. Snell carries a right for two, tags Kazi before letting him slip past him.
9. Dime defense, lone ILB Robert Spillane. Pierre and Steele on the outside with Norwood in the opener and Carlins Platel the roving dime defender. Pickett’s throw to Olszewski ten yards to the left was incomplete and between two defenders, Steele and someone else I didn’t see.
10. Mason Rudolph looked at the OLB pairing of James Vaughters and Hamilcar Rasheed Jr. He entered the RG. Left Rudolph Butt has an open Vons but drops the pass. Ugly.
11. Line and steel the outer corners in the platen slot. Stephens & Steiner Security Coupling. Rudolph quickly fired to Snead on the steel for a seven gain. “Nice ball, 2!” Tomlin called Rudolph.
12. Rudolph Blank Collection. Finisher to Matao Durant on the left side for a pair. Khalil Davis shows off his athleticism for a big man and chases Durant hard downfield.
13. The DT pairing of Carlos Davis and Donovan Jeter. Rudolph Vons has an opening but drops another pass, his second of the drill down the middle. Snap felt inferior and the line didn’t seem on the same page and Carlos Davis blew by the now departed Nate Gilliam.
– OL/DL 1v1 notes.
1. Chukwama Okorafor published on the arch of Gerard Avery.
2. Avery flips to the side and uses an effective inside spin to dust Dan Moore Jr.
3. Avery can sink the rim, but it’s wide to the arc and Moore is good enough here.
4. Cam Heyward’s pick-and-roll fails against Dotson, who shines effectively in both moves.
5. Dotson good anchor with Heyward’s strong bull rush.
6. Tyson Alulu pushes Mason Cole back as he tries to regain ground. Alulu dived in late.
7. Alulu’s slip disappeared from the line and Cole printed it.
8. Nice battle between Ogunjobi and James Daniels here. Ogunjobi showed power and pushed Daniels back a bit.
9. Daniels hits the Rep on Ogunjobi as he slides and mirrors Ogunjobi to the floor.
10. Ogunjobi punches his hands into Daniel’s chest and runs back, taking Daniel for a ride.
11. Hamilcar Rashid Jr.’s turnaround move on Okorafor failed miserably, essentially falling into Faith-into Okorafor’s lap.
12. A good anchor by Okorafor to absorb Rashed’s bull rush, which doubles and falls.
13. A good anchor here on the moor to hold Hayward’s gate.
14. A quick victory fell on Dotson Henry Mondeaux.
15. Mondeaux can’t outrun Dotson.
16. Ogunjobi goes into the call and the reps seem to end early, although the “QB” (assistant) rolls left and Ogunjobi wins so maybe the linemen don’t want to bump into the QB.
17. Chris Wormley’s fast swim beat James Daniels.
18. Daniels was able to sit down and defeat Wormley at this point.
19. Nice Mirror by Okorafor with Watt Spin.
20. Okorafor beats Watt again.
21. Joe Hague won this rep against Ron Dale Carter.
22. Despite being much longer, Isaiah Loudermilk went down and pinned Kendrick Green, Green grabbed Loudermilk’s jersey and effectively backed away as he tried to stay in the fight.
23. Green looks better here and stops Loder’s milk bull.
24. Hassenauer with a good win over Ogunjobi.
25. John Leglue knocks on a snap but DeMarvin Leglue is slow to beat the rim and can’t be sacked.
26. A long arm that Leglue can’t knock down but Leglue can’t untie.
27. Carlos Davis swims past Dotson but appears to trip over LT Joe Hague. Davis doesn’t seem happy about that.
28. They go again. Dotson is leaning and giving up too much space but he can win here.
29. Nice push by Khalil Davis to pull Dotson down and win the rep. Davis is celebrating behind Dotson to close out the session.
The fifth group meeting
1. Two minute drill. 47. Ball on Watt and Avery the OLBs. Kenny Pickett is going to host the show. On a five-yard completion to Chase Claypool down the left sideline, Edmunds hits the tag.
2. Screening Naje Harris is not out of bounds and should have been. The clock continues to tick. A gain of seven yards.
3. By TJ Watt Okorafor will be tied by a touchdown to Pickett. Pickett goes up and looks for Pat Freiermuth, who dives but can’t catch him.
Mike Tomlin leaves the session and is not happy about something. Probably hit too hard for QBs today.
4. Cover 2 hole shot hits an open George Pickins between corner and safety for 27 gain. Pickins thinks he’s in the end zone and runs the rest of the way with the ball in his hands, unaware that he’s been tackled (no problem here) and the clock seems to be running. So a little Chase Claypool/Vikings game going on here. Pickins quickly returns to his embrace.
5. Pickett looks for Pickens but is doubled in the end zone by Edmunds and I believe Levi Wallace. Incomplete.
6. Derek Tuska hits Okorafor around the rim. The throw to the end zone was again incomplete. The drive ends there, stopping on the 14th. Think it’s overdue because this wasn’t a 4th down.
– Now it’s Mason Rudolph’s turn, ball is 47 by himself.
1. Double clutch but hits Steven Sims to right side for five. Don’t think it’s out of bounds here.
2. Throwing on the corner from the left side / 7 The path to Gunner Olszewski is not completed, his hand is out. Cover by Donovan Steiner.
3. Pierre and Steele with Cam Sutton in the slot. Kazee and Steiner at safety. Finish to Christian Blake on the left with Steele for a gain of ten.
4. Rudolph shoots the ball to the right side and puts it out here.
5. Another clutch double from Rudolph looks to go to the right side but looks to McFarland up the middle for an eight gain.
6. A good throw on the right side and Vons redeems himself a little, which puts the holder on the side of the crash (corner / flat) concept. 18 profits.
7. Vaughns and White out with Tyler Snead in the slot. Warren by RB. Rudolph looks for Cody White but the pass is incomplete, Pierre covers.
8. Rudolph’s pass to the left corner – credit to Vons – is incomplete. Steel cover.
9. Olszewski in the slot. Blake as X. Throw it down the left seam to Jace Sternberger. Cam Sutton is covered and the pass is incomplete, going out of the end zone and hitting the Acrisure marker who is in the back of the end zone.
10. 4th down. Rudolph’s right side throw to Blake was incomplete to Pierre. That day will end.
Summary of camp
– The defense definitely took over the two-minute drills the last two days, going a perfect 0/4 on Monday and Tuesday. Here are the QB stats.
Kenny Pickett: 3/6 39 yards, 0 TDs 0 INTs Mason Rudolph: 4/8 41 yards, 0 TDs 0 INTs
– For what it’s worth. Jaylen Warren is ahead of Benny Snell today. Warren certainly got every chance he could.
– Tough day for Tyler Vaughns with two clear drops and a clear third. It wasn’t much of an issue until this point so hopefully a bad day. Overall, Steven Sims and Jess Sternberger have inconsistent hands.
– Chukwama Okorafor improved and did well in 1v1s today especially against Watt but will take the lump in some team sessions. Dan Moore may have been more comfortable and confident but it wasn’t the jump I was expecting. Still a ways to go in this process.
– Kevin Dotson had a great day. Amazing in 1v1s against Cam Heyward. He needs to sort them out and have a good game on Saturday.
– Najey Harris wasn’t perfect today in favor of the fans, but he will be one of the top defensive backs in the league. The size, the strength, it’s too hard to move. He keeps his eyes up, you can’t move him. You need to go around it.
– Quiet camp for Zach Gentry. Missed it for a while but don’t have much to report about it.
– Mark Robinson definitely has that Vince Williams vibe. When he sees it and can get downfield, he attacks the ball with authority.
– Today, it is not a ton that should be noted in the second place. Terrell Edmunds has put together a couple of good practices. He’s the one at this point, but he’s made some more impactful plays in fans, including the truck stick on Matteo Durant.
– Don’t often make a “winner of the day” but I have to give the gold to Presley Harvey. He was a star. Just crush the ball.
A snapshot of St. Vincent
Calvin Austin III walks past Marcell Pastore earlier in practice.
Twitter camp question
Robinson ran a 4.69 40 at his pro day. Long-term speed loss is a concern. He had good moments under 1v1 but was exposed in the preseason opener. But he is so new to the scene, you take your lumps. He won’t be Fred Warner or Darius Leonard, but we’ll see how he improves. Again, it’s like a little Vince Williams.
The fact of arbitrary steels
The first known Steeler with 150+ receiving yards in a game was Dick Hensley’s 154 yards in a 63-7 win over the New York Giants in 1952. Hensley would only have 199 total yards that season, meaning 77.4% of his yards that year came in one game.
George Carlin’s quote of the day
These are the ideas I needed to set me apart from the kids at school.