Last day of practice until the players get their first day off on Tuesday. Still so early in the process and very much in fact-finding mode. So I am still approaching things with a clean slate, but here are a couple specifics on the docket as we enter the fourth day of camp.
1. Battling Burns – Yesterday wasn’t a great showing for the Steelers’ first round pick. But any player, first rounder to UDFA, are going to have those ugly days. Important to be able to rebound mentally and compete as hard as the day before, especially for such a mentally exhausting position like cornerback. I’m sure the team will give him plenty of chances to make up for it.
But I am worried about that stiffness Artie Burns showed on tape. It’s going to be an issue trying to get out of his pedal and underneath routes.
2. The Defense Picks Back – Credit to the Steelers’ quarterbacks. They’ve been very clean throughout the first three days. Just one interception, credited to L.J. Fort off Dustin Vaughan. The defense has forced a couple fumbles but I want to see them make some splash plays. It’s not like they have the chance to record any sacks.
Looking back at my notes last season, after the first two days, the defense had four interceptions. Three of those were thanks to a shaky Landry Jones but still, come on guys. Make a play!
3. First Camp Roster Move? – Quinton Schooley appeared to have suffered a relatively serious left leg injury. It leaves the Steelers down to 13 offensive linemen and maybe only 12 if Maurkice Pouncey gets a day off after the first full-contact practice (and the OL has gone full contact the first three days, anyway). Maybe we see a roster move made – heck, maybe you’ll know about it before this post even goes up.
4. More Flip-Flops – We’ve seen more shuffling early in camp than I can remember in the prior two years. Whether it’s on the offensive line, the outside linebackers (Bud Dupree and Jarvis Jones flipped yesterday), and rookies like Sean Davis, it’s been a surprise. Does that increase tomorrow, especially assuming the team will be without a couple of players? Always interesting to check out.