Sloppy conditions led to a rather rough day overall on Day 2 of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense on Chuck Noll Field Thursday.
Throughout the day, the offense struggled to take care of the football as the defense recorded three interceptions, batted away a handful of passes, and forced some fumbles on running backs in the wet conditions following a significant storm that rolled through Unity Township prior to practice.
Linebackers Devin Bush and Robert Spillane recorded interceptions on the afternoon, as did rookie cornerback Chris Steele. Guys like Justin Layne, Steele, and James Pierre also recorded some pass breakups as the defense once again seemingly won the day in training camp.
Despite some off the offensive struggles and the inability to take care of the football so early in camp, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is not overly worried with ball security issues this early in camp. Speaking with reporters Thursday following practice, according to video via Steelers.com, Tomlin stated that someone’s success is someone else’s failures in Steelers versus Steelers, which is a key component in the nature of team development.
“You know, when you’re working good on good or Steelers versus Steelers when someone’s success is someone else’s failures,” Tomlin said to reporters, according to video via Steelers.com. “So, I don’t over evaluate that [ball security issues]. If they [offense] took care of the ball today, we’d be talking about why didn’t the defense get it. And so that’s the nature of team development.”
That is the nature of team development. Guys are going to make plays on both sides of the football, for better or worse. In a teaching setting and an overall growth and development portion of the season like training camp, coaches would often rather have the mistakes happening now, rather than when the lights are shining brightly and teams are keeping score.
That’s why it’s important to not read too much into plays made or not made in a practice setting. Players — especially quarterbacks — are going to take more chances in practice settings compared to games to test their limits, and defenders are familiar with the plays and concepts that are being run.
Without taking any credit away from the plays the defense made today, that unit should be winning early in camp, especially with all the familiar faces on that side of the football compared to the offense. Eventually, things should even out. But at least for one more day on Thursday, the defense ruled the land once again.