After the Pittsburgh Steelers conducted their annual training camp conditioning test on Wednesday, head coach Mike Tomlin met the media and immediately gave his thoughts on what he observed following his team checking-in at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.
“I liked the overall look of the group at check-in terms of a weight, I thought they performed extremely well in the conditioning test,” Tomlin said. “Not that I’m surprised by that, we’re not trying to trick them or surprise them with the test, it’s simply an evaluation of a summer’s work.”
While Tomlin was happy with the overall group as it relates to those players on the 90-man roster that participated in the post check-in conditioning test, one player failed to finish the running of the eight 150s, 100s, or whatever the distance was this year. That player was none other than veteran journeyman tackle Bryce Harris.
“We’ll see where he is from a conditioning standpoint or health standpoint,” Tomlin said of Harris on Wednesday after announcing that he was the lone player who failed to finish the conditioning test.
While Tomlin did not say for sure, Harris might have to start of training camp on the Active PUP list. We’ll know for sure Thursday afternoon when the NFL releases the official transactions. Regardless, Harris certainly isn’t starting off his first training camp with the Steelers on the right foot.
Harris was originally signed by the Steelers at the beginning of June after fellow tackle Jerald Hawkins was lost for the season with a torn quad that he suffered during an OTA practice. Harris isn’t a stranger to how training camps work, either, as he’s been in the NFL since 2012 when he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State. He’s even made four starts at tackle during his career that has included stops with the Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers.
While we dont know for sure if the Steelers will ultimately keep eight or nine total offensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster this year, Harris entered camp as a seemingly legitimate candidate for a possible ninth spot. Him failing the conditioning test on Wednesday makes you wonder if should even be in consideration for such a roster spot moving forward. In fact, you have to wonder right now if Harris’ first trip to Latrobe with the Steelers might ultimately come to an end in the very near future.
Perhaps Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey put it best about the annual conditioning test on Wednesday after check-in even though he ultimately wasn’t required by Mike Tomlin to run it later in the afternoon.
“Oh man, it’s eight 100s. If you can’t pass that, you deserve to be cut,” Pouncey said.
We’ll see soon if Tomlin agrees with Pouncey.