Training Camp

Farabaugh: Training Camp Observations (Day Nine)

It was a great Family Fest practice at Heinz Field for my second practice of Steelers Training Camp and tonight was actually pretty dang eventful. The good thing for me is that this is now my second look at these guys, so I have something to compare their performance from tonight as well. I was looking forward to seeing how these guys competed tonight, especially with the turbulence camp can have from player-to-player. The preseason games can not come soon enough.

Observations:

  • I have no comment really on Ben Roethlisberger other than he looks like the same old Big Ben that we have grown to love and know. I expect him to have a good year.
  • Mason Rudolph, like Thursday, is just rough going through his progressions. He is too slow and still sometimes misses the correct read. He almost laid Diontae Spencer out on a platter for a headshot with a wide open Ryan Switzer down the sideline today.
  • Josh Dobbs had a strong day today. He looked good in the pocket moving around pressure and had a couple wow throws. He made a really pretty one on a corner to James Washington right over the outstretched arms of Brian Allen. It’s good to see that.
  • James Conner is who he has always been. He was extremely physical tonight.
  • Jaylen Samuels is being utilized in the receiving game a ton. There were some vision issues that showed up today, but he looks to be on his way to another good year.
  • Benny Snell is a football guy through and through. His toughness and infectious effort and want is fantastic. He has an amazing attitude and great vision. I hope he pans out.
  • Diontae Johnson continues to impress me. His route running and releases were again fantastic. I also think he can fix his drop issues, he has natural hands outside of his frame to fix that.
  • Trey Griffey looks quicker and more explosive this year.
  • Diontae Spencer has really good routes but his hands have shown some inconsistencies. He had a really bad drop today over the middle because he heard footsteps.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster is just as he was last season. He looks more chiseled and has some sharper routes on the out breaking routes. 
  • I really like Ryan Switzer. He made more than a few tough catches today and he is a pure mismatch out of the slot.
  • James Washington’s releases looked especially good today. He dusted Steven Nelson off the line with a simple jab step and cut on a slant. 
  • Xavier Grimble’s blocking today was a thing of beauty. Multiple times he was driving guys right out of their gaps and opening up lanes.
  • Fred Johnson is standing out in a really good way. He has consistent good plays and his athleticism is eye-popping, especially on pulls. I think he has a shot at the 53.
  • Patrick Morris has been a bit of a disappointment for me. I thought he would take a step forward, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest that. He has a very suspect anchor. 
  • Matt Feiler actually looks much better than last year. He seems to have slimmed down a bit and his athleticism is up big time. He is moving really well in space this year.
  • No worries for a decline in Ramon Foster. He moves really well for his age and still looks like the solid player he has for the last decade.
  • Tyson Alualu had a wail of a day. He played with fantastic pad level and controlled the line of scrimmage as well as anyone did today.
  • Isaiah Buggs had a nice showing today. His bull rush to quite literally push an offensive lineman back into Devlin Hodges was incredibly impressive. 
  • Bud Dupree knows how to cut between gaps as anyone does on this team. He was doing that during the run team drill the whole time. He was causing havoc.
  • T.J. Watt looked good in his limited action. He was moving around well and seemed to not have any side effects of his hamstring injury.
  • Tuzar Skipper came to play today. He plays with some serious swagger and thump in his game. He was everywhere tonight, really great showing from the UDFA.
  • Ola Adeniyi was doing his usual things tonight. He had a violent rip-pull to get some pressure on Josh Dobbs tonight. 
  • Devin Bush stood out like a sore thumb in a good way today. His athleticism in the middle of the field is a game changer already.
  • Tyler Matakevich was nothing special today. He nipped at ankles a few times and missed a few tackles tonight. Not a good showing for him.
  • Brian Allen was a living toaster all night long. There were at least three or four different receivers that got the better of him. His discipline and mirroring have to get a heck of a lot better.
  • Steven Nelson’s boom or bust qualities showed themselves tonight, but it sure was a lot more boom than bust.
  • P.J. Locke had a really nice day displaying his ability to lock down some tight ends. He faced Zach Gentry and made a great pass breakup against him.
  • Kam Kelly has some incredible length. It allowed him to break up a pass for JuJu Smith-Schuster tonight, but even more so is Kelly’s short area quickness. He’s incredibly quick in short areas.
  • Terrell Edmunds is seeing the ball a lot better the year and making plays on it more often than not. He made four pass breakups at least today just off of the top of my head. Keep an eye out for him.
  • Ian Berryman’s inconsistencies continued today. He has a few booming ones everyday, but there are some real ducks out there too.
  • Chris Boswell was solid aside from his miss from 50 yards out today. 
  • Matthew Wright’s leg is just not strong enough. He was short from 52 and pushed a good amount of kicks today as well. 
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