Training Camp

2018 Steelers Training Camp Diary: Day 11

A low-key Day 11, to be expected with the Pittsburgh Steelers first game only two (!!) days away. With all the rain in the area, the team practiced solely on the far, turf field. Makes sense with them in shorts and shells and a non-tackling session. Let’s talk about what all went down at SVC.

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– Injury report. Some good news, some bad news. Still out are: T.J. Watt (left hamstring), Vance McDonald (foot), Brian Allen and Keion Adams (undisclosed), Bud Dupree (concussion), Antonio Brown (hip flexor), and Ramon Foster (knee). Watt left practice early on, walking back up with a trainer. Looked fine but didn’t do his walking/rehab routine the other day. Not sure if that means anything or not. Dupree did some light jogging during ST sessions. Antonio Brown came down onto the field shortly after practice started. Did some weight resistance drills on the middle field under the guise of assistant strength & conditioning coach Marcel Pastoor, the man responsible for getting AB stretched out whenever he does practice. A short video of it.

The good news. David DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert returned after getting Sunday off. Joe Haden returned from an undisclosed injury while JuJu Smith-Schuster (left knee) and Marcus Tucker (right ankle), thankfully returned in full. Darrius Heyward-Bey was in uniform today. He went through walk through and individual work. Not 100% sure if he worked in team too.

Maurkice Pouncey avoided an injury scare. Seemingly innocuous run play and Pouncey went down. Seemed to be a right ankle/foot. He tried to get up, couldn’t and stayed down, before getting up a couple moments later and hopping back to the sideline. But he would be ok, returning for the next team session, though the team held him out for the final one. A minor injury, if anything.

Larson Graham, Patrick Morris, Chris Schleuger, Josh Dobbs, and Mason Rudolph, the first group of players on the field at 2:39 PM. A very mild applause, even for Rudolph.

– You know what the weird thing is? Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t get the biggest applause anymore. That’s reserved for JuJu Smith-Schuster. Kids love him. Mostly because JuJu is still a big kid.

– First thing the DL did in practice. Long arm to swim move combinations.

– Only use for the far field from the bleachers, despite it being under a tarp and the grounds crew working hard to prepare it, was Jordan Berry and Matt Wile booming a handful of punts. Kameron Canaday long snapped to Chris Boswell.

– The 1v1 I charted today (no OL/DL because they weren’t in pads) was TE/RB vs LB. Here’s each rep.


1. Jesse James beats Anthony Chickillo but the pass falls off his fingertips. Would’ve been a tough catch.

2. Throw to James Conner is low and behind. Vince Williams covering.

3. Xavier Grimble beats Farrington Huguenin on an out route.

4. Nice jam by L.J. Fort on Roosevelt Nix. Nix spins off and breaks his route vertical. Sweet left-handed grab over his shoulder.

5. Pharoah McKever running down the right sideline. Plucks the ball over the much shorter Ola Adeniyi’s head.

6. Stevan Ridley runs a wheel down the left sideline. Tyler Matakevich good coverage to his inside hip. Throw over both their heads.

7. Huguenin grabs Bucky Hodges shoulder, slowing him down on his out route and the pass is incomplete.

8. Fitzgerald Toussaint breaks down his route to create space on Keith Kelsey. But the pass is off the mark and incomplete. Not Toussaint’s fault.

9. Tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson did similar as McKever, reaching over Adeniyi’s head and making the grab.

10. Jaylen Samuels on an out cut. Nice close by Matthew Thomas to tip the pass away.

11. Jesse James runs a corner route on Williams. Poor ball placement, thrown to inside shoulder. James gets his head around but can’t find the ball. Incomplete.

12. Kelsey misses his reroute on Jarvion Franklin. Franklin burns him for the catch.

13. Bad punch by Matt Galambos at the line. James Summers beats him, makes the grab running a dig.

14. Grimble and Huguenin running downfield. Pass is short and behind.

15. James Conner runs a quick out route, making the catch against Fort.

16. Matakevich matches Ridley on an out route. Breaks up the throw.

17. Adeniyi breaks up throw to McKever downfield.

18  Fitz Toussaint runs a wheel. Vince Williams a step behind but throws up his right hand and it clanks off VW, incomplete.

19. Nice rep by Bucky Hodges. Beats Matthew Thomas vertically, makes fingertip catch downfield.

20. Incompletion downfield intended for Nix. Kelsey covering.

21. CSW on a speed out against Huguenin. Head around a little late, ball is there as soon as he sees it, and he makes a chest catch.

22. James rips through Adeniyi beating him downfield. Burns him pretty badly and James makes a sliding catch.

23. Franklin makes the catch on Kelsey.

24. Another hard jam by Fort on Grimble. Grimble crosses his face and makes the grab over Fort’s attempted swipe.

25. Summers fakes the wheel route downfield, breaking it down on a curl. Creates a lot of space on Fort. Makes the grab.

26. Pivot route by McKever, going outside and then inside. Makes the grab on Adeniyi.

27. Angle route by Toussaint then he breaks it outside, making the grab on Jon Bostic.

First Team Session (11 v 11)

1. Ben Roethlisberger at QB. Fade right corner for JuJu Smith-Schuster. Joe Haden tips it into the air. Morgan Burnett toe tap for the INT.

2. Ben in an empty set. Roethlisberger targets JuJu again on a crosser right to left. Touchdown, Haden trailing.

3. Ben for JuJu on a slant, making the catch in front of Haden – again – the corner diving out and tackling him at the back of the end zone.

4. Roethlisberger for Justin Thomas on a dig for a touchdown. Pitch and catch.

5. Mason Rudolph working as the 2nd team QB. Justin Thomas in the slot. Easy tell, reverse to him. Gets blown up well behind the line of scrimmage.

6. Bucky Hodges standing up in the slot. Rudolph pump fakes then throws right corner for reserve WR Tevin Jones, making the grab as Sutton faces him, never seeing the ball.

7. Huguenin/Adeniyi the OLBs. Damoun Patterson/James Washington/Jones in the slot. Slot fade for Jaylen Samuels falls incomplete back left corner. Fort breaking it up.

Second Team Session

1. Run session. James Conner right side. Sean Davis flies in with a good inside/out angle to be the first one there.

2. Conner again with the carry right side. Shows patience before putting his foot in the ground and bursting upfield. Cam Heyward chases behind.

3. Short gain up the middle for Conner. Quick whistle.

4. Jump cut by Toussaint. He and Haden race all the way to the end zone, 60 yards the other way.

5. Ridley not doing much up the middle.

6. Toussaint carry left side, high steps through the hole and comes out the other way. But a really light session, no tackling, very limited contact, so pretty boring.

7. Ridley right side. Daniel McCullers and Lavon Hooks hold the POA well.

8. Josh Dobbs screen left to Jaylen Samuels. L.T. Walton gives chase and Sutton tags him up.

9. Fort and Thomas the ILB. Samuels right side. Fort there to wrap him up and then lets him go.

10. Jarvion Franklin right side. Stuffed at the LOS.

11. Franklin the FB, James Summers the RB. Rudolph playaction. Adeniyi gets pressure. Dump off to McKever against Dashaun Phillips.

12. Over front, Kendal Vickers shifted to the left side. Franklin has the carry.

13. Franklin up the middle. Galambos gets off the block and sticks an arm out.

14. Rudolph on playaction. Pass got tipped – not sure by who- and incomplete.

15. Trey Griffey and Justin Thomas the receivers. Samuels off right tackle. Kyle Meadows with a nice drive block.

Third Team Session

1. Appears to be a busted play. Roethlisberger (tried?) to hand it off to Conner but he didn’t take it. Roethlisberger follows him behind.

2. Conner gets the carry. Play where Pouncey got hurt.

3. Feiler to LG, Finney to center. Roethlisberger to JuJu across. Artie Burns tags him.

4. Dobbs looks for Washington on a comeback. Incomplete, Sensabaugh covering.

5. Toussaint with a crease over left guard. Sensabaugh chases him as #33 finishes the run.

6. Anthony Chickillo pressures up the B gap, think an ILB came off the edge. Dobbs complete to Marcus Tucker running a dig against Matthew Thomas.

7. Ridley on the carry. Adeniyi comes flying in to blow it up. Ridley bumps into Hooks and the OL blocking.

8. Jesse James makes a nice combat catch from Jones. Burns couldn’t punch it out.

9. Checkdown via Jones to Ridley. Heyward again gives great chase.

10. Adeniyi gets a great jump off the edge, beating Marcus Gilbert. Jones finds James Summers on the left side.

11. Matthew Thomas getting work at OLB with how thin the team is there (only 3 healthy practicing). Beats McKever off the edge. Rudolph playaction, complete on a dig over the middle against Malik Reaves.

12. Joseph Cheek with a false start. Too many of those in camp from him. Quick flare from Rudolph to Samuels. Adeniyi and Reaves first two to tag him.

13. Rudolph PA. Boot rights. Thomas rallies, changing course to take Rudolph, and chases him out of bounds.

14. Samuels off left guard. A pretty uneventful session.

Fourth Session

1. Roethlisberger working out of his end zone. Scrambles right, Hunter working back to him, and the two connect along the right sideline. Haden couldn’t close.

2. Ben to Hunter again on a drag right to left.

3. Williams/Bostic the ILBs. Roethlisberger pump fakes twice. Bomb down the right side for Grimble. Too far in front. Morgan Burnett had the coverage.

4. Roethlisberger back to Hunter deep down the right side. Has a step on Haden but…drops the pass.

5. Dobbs comes in. Fires to Grimble on a curl. Sensabaugh with another breakup.

6. Nice play here from Tevin Jones. Dobbs fires to him. Jones makes a slick catch over fully over his head and hauls it in against Sutton and Matakevich.

7. Nothing there for Dobbs. Throws it in the dirt.

8. R.J. Prince at RG, Jake Rodgers at RT. Draw to Ridley. Stuffed at the LOS.

9. Jones checkdown to James Conner. Misses the mark, incomplete.

10. Jones short right complete to Justin Thomas. Burnett bumps him.

11. Jones fires deep down the right side for Hunter on an over/crosser route. Too far in front, incomplete. Davis a step away from making an INT.

12. James Conner shotgun carry. Runs off the hip of the left guard. Good block by LG Parker Collins.

13. Rudolph throws incomplete right side.

14. Thomas at LOLB. Rudolph throws low to Patterson, incomplete. Reaves in the area covering.

15. Kelsey rips under and through James Summers, getting pressure on Rudolph. Rudolph drops his eyes – and maybe the ball? – and there’s no throw on the play.

Fifth Session

1. Pouncey and Ben held out. Jones at QB, Finney at center. Conner right side. Burns flies in.

2. Jones wants Smith-Schuster on a curl on the left side. JuJu fell down to his knees. Burns capitalizes and picks it off.

3. Flare from Dobbs to Ridley. Adeniyi tags him.

4. Samuels split out wide right. Looks like a Fire X blitz by the defense, each ILB crossing over each other. Dobbs flushed to his left and throws the ball away.

5. Huguenin and Adeniyi at OLB. Sensabaugh/Sutton the corners. Dobbs flushed to his right again, scrambling and taking off. Tyson Alualu gives chase.

6. Samuels carry right side. Walton gets held and can’t work off the block.

7. Carry up the middle. McCullers stands up Collins at the line and there’s nowhere for the back to go.

8. Dobbs flushed right. Throws for Bucky Hodges along the right side. Nice breakup by Terrell Edmunds, who seemed a little upset at himself for not picking it off.

9. James Washington and a defender jumps at the same time. Quick throw complete to Hodges.

10. Dobbs throws to a WR on a curl. Not sure who the WR was. Phillips made a nice play at the catch point and breaks it up to end practice.

Odds And Ends

– During ST sessions, Rudolph, Dobbs, Hunter, and JuJu all got some extra work in. Throwing and running routes.

– Dobbs threw a pretty ball down the left seam complete to McKever in some 7 on 7 work.

– During another ST session, saw Phillips and Patterson working as gunners. Quadree Henderson and Justin Thomas were the return men. Thomas muffed one, letting it through his hands.

Final Thoughts

– Not a lot to learn from today with how un-intense practice was.

– You can see the athleticism from Bucky Hodges. Making some tough grabs, even if it’s just 1v1s.

– Ola Adeniyi continues to impress. Quick first step and hard to stop once he rips under the tackle.

– We’ll have a good/bad breakdown of camp tomorrow morning. So you’ll get some more info thee on my thoughts on the first 11 practices.

St. Vincent Snapshot

Random Steeelers Trivia

Johnny Clement is the only Steeler to ever wear the number zero. His nickname was “Zero” and he played with the team from 1946 to 1948.

Dwight Schrute Quote Of The Day

“I love catching people in the act. That’s why I always whip open doors.”

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