Guess what, folks. It’s training camp time. And that means it’s time for training camp questions. For the first time since 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe after having been forced to remain in Pittsburgh, where they held their past two training camps inside of the Field Formerly Known as Heinz.
Even though the Steelers are back on very familiar ground, more specifically on that of Chuck Noll Field, this is a training camp that is unusually full of certainty. After all, they haven’t had a genuine quarterback battle in a couple of decades, but they have one now with Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph.
We’ve got yet another new offensive line, with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is in at inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can return to form after last year’s dismal display.
There’s still so much going on, and training camp will only create more questions as we go along, even as it starts to provide some answers. We’ll be covering them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: Who are you most looking forward to seeing in pads?
The Steelers will put the pads on today for the first time since the end of last season. Now, it won’t quite be the same as a game inside of a stadium, of course, but Mike Tomlin’s padded practices are as physical as any team’s in the league, conducting full-contact, tackling scrimmage sessions, so we are now comfortably entering the ‘football’ portion of the offseason.
It’s certainly an exciting day for fans to be in attendance, with the first padded practice typically featuring the ever-popular backs-on-backers drill, and padded ‘seven shots’ scrimmages always have the threat of fun as well.
But going from shirts and helmets to full pads is a big transition, and different players—as well as positions—translate to that differently. So the question is, who are you most looking forward to seeing in pads, as the next step in the evaluation process?
For me, if there is anybody that I’m looking at most, it might very well be Dan Moore Jr., the Steelers’ second-year left tackle. If he can make a sizeable jump from his rookie season, that would go a long way toward solidifying this offensive line.
Taking it from another angle, I’d also like to see if Calvin Austin III’s speed and elusiveness can translate with pads. The small rookie wide receiver has impressed with his ability to move around on the field, but doing so with pads on, at his size, with increased defensive contact, is an important next step in evaluating his game.
So those are a couple of mine. Who are yours?