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 will take advantage of whatever practice time Najee Harris might miss due to a minor foot injury?
Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed after practice yesterday that running back Najee Harris had his foot stepped on, which led to him exiting the field and being done for the day. Given that we are only in the second week of training camp, there’s an excellent chance the coaching staff will be highly conservative when it comes to bringing him back onto the field.
Assuming that he misses at least a day or two of practice, who is going to step up and use those extra reps to their advantage? While Benny Snell Jr. is the runaway favorite to be the number two back this year, the rest of the backfield is a mystery, with third-year Anthony McFarland and rookie college free agents Jaylen Warren and Mataeo Durant trying to catch some eyes.
The team recently brought in veteran Jeremy McNichols just as training camp opened, but he too also reportedly suffered a minor injury, which could potentially keep him off the field for at least a day or two.
The coaches talked back in May about how they want to figure out how to give Harris more rest during the season, but that requires identifying somebody they trust can step up when their Pro Bowler is not on the field.
Fan confidence in the Steelers finding such a player on the 90-man roster certainly appears to be low, as we often hear it said that they need to bring in a veteran running back. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to the idea. But if Harris misses some time, it would be the ideal opportunity for the in-house candidates to state their case.