Steelers’ 2022 Training Camp Diary: Day 15

A pretty low-key practice Wednesday at Saint Vincent, reflective of a tune-up week game upcoming against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But the weather was great so let’s talk about what happened today, the next-to-last practice of camp.

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Camp Notes (Day 15)

– Injury report: Things looking better for the Steelers. Not practicing today included: RB Master Teague (ankle), CB Arthur Maulet (hamstring), EDGE Alex Highsmith (ribs), NT Montravius Adams (ankle), WR Calvin Austin III (foot), and DL Larry Ogunjobi (undisclosed – probably day off). A fairly short list for it being this late in camp. Did not spot Teague on the field today. Austin again walked down without a limp and caught passes either stationary or walking forward during stretch line. Trying to stay active until he receives medical clearance.

SS Miles Killebrew worked full today while FB Derek Watt (shoulder) and LB Marcus Allen (hamstring) were limited. They went through positional drills. Watt and Allen were the last two to come down, some fans were allowed on the players walkway as they made their way down the stairs, and Allen had a big smile on his face, bounding around before stretch line. Both have a chance to play Saturday and that’s obviously good new.

– One in-practice injury that I’m aware of. DL Isaiahh Loudermilk tweaked his right side during individual session. Not sure how but he made his way over to head athletic trainer John Norwig, who wrapped him up in ice. Loudermilk was grabbing his right side above his hip like he pulled or strained a muscle. He did not practice the rest of the day.

– Newly claimed center Ryan McCollum will wear Nate Gilliam’s old number of 62. McCollum worked full as third-team center today.

– WR Christian Blake was first man down the stairs, coming down just before 1:30.

– Steelers in shells today, contributing to the low-key day.

– Mason Cole is a man who is 40% tape. Both feet fully taped up with his left hand all wrapped up too. Looks like a true lineman.

– Tight ends always one of the earliest groups to come down early with TEs Coach Alfredo Roberts putting them to work on drills and hitting the blocking sled before practice gets going. Roberts doesn’t let those guys lounge around.

– Najee Harris is that dude. As the players come down for practice, Harris grabbed the chutes, ladders, and all the equipment needed for RB drills and sets everything up. I don’t know if Eddie Faulkner tells him to do it, my guess is he doesn’t, but despite being a budding star and face of this offense, Harris is doing all the little things. That’s being a leader without having to give some rah-rah speech which isn’t Harris’ style anyway.

– RB Jaylen Warren still carrying around the football before practice.

– I’m not sure what the group was, sure it’ll be explained later, but there was a big group of kids on-hand today who were very excited to see Mike Tomlin. Here’s a video of them happily meeting him. Tomlin would later go over to the RB drill area and “coached” the kids as they ran through the ladders. Najee Harris also hung out with the group for a couple of moments. All in all, pretty cool.

– WR Anthony Miller was present today. On injured reserve and he wore a black hoodie with a black sling/brace/contraception around his right shoulder. So that’s what he hurt. He stood next to the WRs in drills but spent a chunk of the day sitting on one of the benches between the near and middle field.

– Wearing a hat, the ultimate tell of “not practicing,” Larry Ogunjobi walked over to Karl Dunbar during stretch line away from the rest of the group and spoke with him. John Mitchell was sitting on a cooler a few feet away while Jerry Olsavsky also made his way over.

– Marcus Allen, no longer the stretch line DJ, probably didn’t like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Can’t Stop being played. One of the staffers quickly changed it to rap.

Ok let’s talk the first team session.

First Team Session

1. No seven shots today. Instead, the offense begins at their own seven yard line. Mitch Trubisky in at QB. Complete right side to TE Pat Freiermuth for eight.

2. Kendrick Green first-team LG. Cam Heyward, at LDE believe it or not, joined by Tyson Alualu in the middle and Chris Wormley at RDE. T.J. Watt and Genard Avery the OLBs, Myles Jack and Devin Bush the ILBs, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds the safety pairing with Ahkello Witherspoon and Cam Sutton at corner.

Trubisky complete to Connor Heyward on a slant over the middle for a gain of eight working on Terrell Edmunds.

3. Heyward and Alualu the DT pairing. Jack and Robert Spillane the ILBs. Damontae Kazee and Minkah Fitzpatrick now the safety pairing. Trubisky fires right side but Fitzpatrick is blitzing in and I think he got a hand on it, tipping the ball and the pass falling incomplete.

4. Witherspoon and Wallace the outside corners with Sutton in the slot. Spillane and Jack the ILB pairing, Edmunds and Fitzpatrick at safety. Bubble left side from Trubisky to Pickens gains three, Cam Sutton in on the tag.

5. Kenny Pickett in at QB. Leal-Mondeaux-Carlos Davis the down linemen. Pressure here and a would-be sack but Pickett rolls left and points to Gunner Olszewski in the left flat to convert his route upfield. Throws a pretty ball left sideline and Olszewski makes a solid catch over Kazee for a gain of 24.

6. Tre Norwood in the slot. Pickett to Olszewski again for a gain of nine, Levi Wallace finishing the rep hard by trying to punch the ball out but Olszewski hangs on.

7. Pickett fires down the left sideline for Christian Blake but Wallace covers it well and the pass is incomplete off of Blake’s hand and hitting the ground.

8. Pickett boots right. Complete for a third time to Olszewski for a gain of eight. Throw leads him out of bounds.

9. Mason Rudolph in at QB. O-line of: Haeg-C.Green-McCollum-Dunkle-Tucker. Anthony McFarland at RB with Mark Robinson and Buddy Johnson at ILB. Donovan Stiner and Linden Stephens the safety tandem. Rudolph wants a quick slant to Miles Boykin but there’s a defender running to the flat. Rudolph pumps, waits, and delivers a strike to Boykin for a gain of 13.

10. Rudolph complete to Jace Sternberger right side, bursting away from Buddy Johnson. Whistle blows as he’s in the open-field, today is not a good day to clearly determine when someone is “down” but I’ll be generous and give a gain of 15.

11. Tyler Snead in the slot, Tyler Vaughns. Bubble the other way for RB Mataeo Durant. Pass is a little low but catchable and Durant drops it. He picks it up to run and finish the rep but it’s a drop.

12. Justin Layne and Chris Steele the CB pairing. Good throw and catch for 14 yards from Rudolph to Cody White against Steele.

Second Team Session

1. 1st team offense against second stringer and mostly backup players on defense. Some of the scout-team stuff and looks. Najee Harris on the carry right side for five.

2. DeMarvin Leal and Donovan Jeter the DT pairing. Miles Killebrew at safety with Witherspoon and Wallace on the outside at corner and Sutton in the slot. Delontae Scott at ROLB, Kevin Dotson in at LG. Trubiksy throw in the right flat complete to Harris for three. Killebrew first man there coming downhill.

3. Carlos Davis late getting on the field but he does to come in next to Jeter. Fitzpatrick and Killebrew the safety pairing. Harris carry right side for no gain.

4. Trade motion from Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader. Trubisky checkdown to Harris for four yards left side. Ron’Dell Carter dropped into coverage at ROLB this rep.

5. Split zone run with Jaylen Warren on the carry, Connor Heyward pulling across. Gain of five with Warren bursting out the other side but again, this is a low-key and non-tackling session. Not even a lot of thud tackling happening here.

6. Pickett under center. Jet run right side to Steven Sims. Good contain by James Pierre. We’ll call it a gain of four.

7. Kazee and Stiner at safety. Pierre and Wallace on the outside with Norwood in the slot. Pickett looks left but throws a screen right complete to McFarland for a gain of ten. Mark Robinson in on the stop. Tomlin happy with McFarland here.

8. Mason Rudolph comes in under center. Benny Snell right side for three.

9. OL of: Scott-C.Green-McCollum-Dunkle-Tucker. Rudolph playaction. Throws to Tyler Vaughns on an over route. Pass a little out in front and he stretches out to make the catch. Tips and juggles it three times before falling face-first as the pass hits the ground incomplete. Would’ve been a nice catch but I won’t quite call it a drop though you could argue that way.

10. Rudolph empty set. Khalil Davis and Donovan Jeter the DT sharing. Derrek Tuszka drops into coverage at ROLB, probably some of the stuff they expect Jacksonville to do this weekend. Rudolph hits Vaughns this time for a gain of nine right side against Justin Layne.

11. Killebrew and Stiner the safety pairing. Rudolph under center. Durant inside zone and he cuts back left. Tuszka and Robinson on the fill for a gain of 2-3.

Third Team Session

1. Ball on the offense’s 18. Trubisky under center. Boots right. T.J. Watt free and applying pressure but he gets the ball out and hits Zach Gentry underneath for a gain of two. Spillane first man there.

2. Watt and Avery the OLBs. Wormley-Alualu-Heyward the DL grouping. Durant run left side. Watt is unblocked on the backside and chases Durant down for a loss of two. Sutton good frontside run support.

3. Wormley and Heyward the DTs, Spillane and Jack the ILB pairing. Wallace and Fitzpatrick at safety. Trubisky boot right side is complete to Heyward for a couple, Myles Jack on the tag.

4. Fitzpatrick and Edmunds the safety pairing. Witherspoon and Sutton on the outside with Norwood in the slot. Durant carry left side, Sutton active in this session and makes the stop in the backfield for a loss of three. Guessing a WR missed his block here.

5. Norwood and Kazee the safety pairing. Pickett boot right and hits a player I don’t have listed here in the flat for a loss of one. Good read and close by Devin Bush and Myles Jack jogs over to high-five him after the play.

6. Warren run left side for a couple. Myles Jack on the tag with Warren finishing the run.

7. Eleven yard pitch and catch from Pickett to Vaughns left side. Lot of zone/boot/playaction pairing this session.

8. Jaylen Warren gain of three. From behind the play, DBs Coach Grady Brown offering a coaching point to Norwood, telling him to step inside, though I’m not exactly sure of the meaning. Think he didn’t want Norwood drifting outside initially before he got his run/pass key.

9. Stephens and Stiner the safety pairing. Rudolph playaction. WR Cody White has a step on S Donovan Stiner on an over route but the pass skims off his fingers and is incomplete.

10. Jeter and Davis the DT pairing. Layne and Steele on the outside with Carlins Platel in the slot. Durant left side for a gain of five. “Finish, finish” the coaches call out to the group, offense and defense.

11. Lot of YAC here in this slower day but Rudolph boots and hits an open Jace Sternberger left side. He gets 22 yards before Mark Robinson opens it up and chases him down.

12. Rudolph now under center. Bad exchange with new center Ryan McCollum. Run-blitz with Buddy Johnson flying into the A gap may have caused the hurried play.

Fourth Team Session

1. Kendrick Green in at LG. Witherspoon and Wallace on the outside, Sutton in the slot. Third down session. Scott and Tuszka on the EDGEs with Jeter as one of the DTs. Trubisky’s slant is thrown right at Spillane and intercepted.

2. Trubisky complete this time complete to George Pickens right side, Ahkello Witherspoon on the tag for a gain of four.

3. Myles Jack and Robert Spillane the ILBs. Pat Freiermuth open down the right seam drifting towards the middle and Trubisky puts it on him for a gain of 22 to midfield.

4. Carlos and Khalil Davis the DT pairing. Zach Gentry the Y tight end. Trubisky complete to Gentry for eight. Terrell Edmunds on a blitz but the line provides a clean pocket.

5. Pickett boot right, hitting Gunner Olszewski right side for ten. Good YAC here.

6. J.C. Hassenauer in at center. Joe Haeg at LT, Kevin Dotson LT. Ball moved from the right to left hash pre-snap. Kenny Pickett hits Christian Blake on a crosser against Platel for a gain of six.

7. Khalil Davis and Henry Mondeaux the uncommon DT pairing of this camp. Nice throw by Pickett against the Steelers’ zone defense. Norwood underneath and trying to sink to squeeze the throw but Pickett floats it in over him and Olszewski makes the catch for a gain of 27.

8. Benny Snell in at RB. Completion to Steven Sims for 12 yards right side. The DB couldn’t knock the ball out of his hands.

9. Rudolph complete right side to Connor Heyward for just a gain of one. Killebrew with a quick close.

10. Killebrew and Stiner the safety pairing. Johnson and Spillane at ILB. Spillane blitzes. Completion to Heyward left side for a gain of four. Good chase and effort by Johnson to try to punch the ball out. TEs Coach going over a coaching point with Heyward after the rep.

11. Mason Rudolph throw down the middle is in the bucket and Cody White makes the catch against Justin Layne for a gain of 32.

12. Hank/over the ball route is caught by Kevin Rader from Rudolph for a gain of six. Killebrew there again.

Fifth Team Session

1. Ball on the offense’s 29. T.J. Watt and Derrek Tuszka the OLBs. Witherspoon and Wallace the outside corners with Sutton in the slot. Bush and Jack the ILBs. Pickett complete to Pat Freiermuth for seven. Backup offense against most of the 1st-team defense, the inverse of the earlier session.

2. “Here we go, Steelers” chant breaking out amongst the crowd. Not sure the play here but Watt was in the backfield for a loss of two.

3. Pickett empty set, Mataeo Durant split out. Pickett throws to Durant right side but Tomlin blows the whistle mid-play. Not sure what he didn’t look but the offense resets things (Durant did catch it for those scoring at home).

4. Hassenauer in at center, Leglue at LG. Pickett fires deep down the left sideline. Cam Sutton faceguards him and White can’t jump through him and the pass falls incomplete.

5. Denzel Martin giving the defense its playcall/card. Pickett throws for Boykin on a slant. Good break on the ball by CB Levi Wallace and he breaks it up.

6. Robert Spillane and Devin Bush the ILBs. DeMarvin Leal and Carlos Davis the DT pairings. Mason Rudolph in at QB. Rudolph looks for Kevin Rader over the middle. He can’t keep control the ball on the way down and Tre Norwood helps break it up. Incomplete. Way to go, 2-1,” Mike Tomlin calls out.

7. Buddy Johnson split out as the RCB. Tre Norwood on a blitz. Rudolph’s throw to Blake is thrown behind and hits off a defender, either James Pierre or Donovan Stiner.

8. Rudolph complete right side to Durant for a gain of three, Layne applying the tag.

9. Jeter and Khalil Davis the DT pairing. Johnson and Robinson the ILBs. Rudolph empty set. Complete right side to Boykin for five, Johnson taking him to the ground as he tries to pull the ball out for one of the few tackles of the day.

10. Well look at what we have here. Not a drill, not a drill, 7th round rookie QB Chris Oladokun taking his first 11v11 reps of camp. Miles Boykin and Christian Blake on the outside with Tyler Snead in the slot. Oladokun’s first throw is complete short right to Connor Heyward for three. Get that Hall of Fame jacket ready.

11. A legitimately nice throw on a Y-stick left side complete to Jace Sternberger for eight, throwing the ball outside and away from LB Buddy Johnson.

12. Oladokun in shotgun. Handoff to Durant for three.

Sixth Team Session

1. Dotson in at LG. Scott and Tuszka on the outside at OLB. Leal and Jeter the DTs. Witherspoon and Wallace on the outside with Sutton in the slot. Trubisky under center. Screen right to Najee Harris for a gain of ten. Good block out in space by Chase Claypool on Cam Sutton.

2. Pickens and Johnson on the outside with Claypool in the slot. Harris run left side. Devin Bush on the stop at the line of scrimmage.

3. Trubisky under center. Harris again carry right side for four.

4. Khalil and Carlos Davis the DTs. Scott and Carter the EDGE rushers. Bush and Spillane the ILBs. Trubisky complete left side to Jaylen Warren for five. Sutton on the tag.

5. Pickett in at QB. James Pierre and Levi Wallace at corner with Tre Norwood and Damontae Kazee at safety. Robinson and Johnson the ILBs. Pickett boots right and hits Heyward for a gain of three, Robinson on the tag.

6. Trent Scott in at RT. Steven Sims and Christian Blake on the outside with Gunner Olszewski in the slot. Gentry the tight end. Toss right to Anthony McFarland for about two.

7. Pickett under center. Seven-yard completion to Blake on a slant, Wallace covering from behind, and Blake tumbles to the ground as he makes the grab.

8. Benny Snell in at RB. Pickett again under center. Snell carry left side for three, Tuszka stepping down for a would-be tackle. Pierre and Norwood chase Snell as he finishes his run downfield.

9. Tucker-C.Green-McCollum-Dunkle-Scott the third-team OL. Rudolph under center. Good lane here over guard for Snell and I’ll give him five though he jogs to the opposing 35 to finish the play.

10. Bad exchanges between McCollum and Rudolph under center. Delontae Scott picks it up. Mike Tomlin yells out “on the ball” and wants these guys immediately lined up. They do and Snell gets the carry for three, Robinson in to make the stop.

11. Rudolph shotgun. Hits Cody White on a slant and gains seven on a nice catch. “Strong hands, 1-5,” Tomlin yells out to him.

12. Rudolph in the gun. Durant on the carry for one. Robinson on the stop for a thud tackle, one of the biggest of the day.

Sixth Team Session

1. Ball on the offense’s 36. Crowd cheers towards the end of the day and camp. Backup offense against the mostly-starting defense. Pickett at QB. T.J. Watt LDE, Alualu and Heyward the DTs. Pickett complete to Freiermuth for three with Norwood on the coverage.

2. Watt and Avery the EDGE pairing. Tyler Snead a rare snap on the outside with Miles Boykin opposite and White in the slot. Boykin and White stacked to the one side. Gentry as the Y. Throw left side to Snead is incomplete with Wallace covering.

3. Dime defense. Witherspoon and Wallace on the outside with Sutton in the slot and Norwood as the 6th DB. Fitzpatrick and Edmunds the safety pairing. Myles Jack the lone ILB. Pickett complete to Vaughns on a slant for 11 yards, T.J. Watt applying pressure on a T/E stunt.

4. White and Vaughns on the outside with Snead back inside. Pickett checkdown left flat to Durant for two. Wallace on the tag.

5. Spillane and Bush the ILBs. Pierre and Wallace on the outside with Norwood in the slot in the Steelers’ nickel defense. Rudolph complete to Boykin over the middle for 14. Tuszka ran in free off the edge.

6. Leal and Carlos Davis the DTs. Rudolph fires deep right side but the pass is thrown into double-coverage and incomplete for Cody White. James Pierre and Damontae Kazee covering.

7. Carlins Platel the dime defender. Rudolph complete to Snead right side for four. Spillane first man there but Kazee comes down and offers a bigger pop.

8. Rudolph complete right seam to Heyward for 19 yards working on Platel. Good throw and catch.

9. Oladokun back in the game. Empty set. Y-stick again like his throw to Sternberger earlier, this time for Rader, but Chris Steele offers the biggest collision of the day, smacking Rader with a shoulder and breaking the throw up. Incomplete.

10. Oladokun looks for Warren in the left flat but the pass is low and a little behind, forcing Warren to spin around and he can’t haul it in.

11. Oladokun complete this time for seven yards over the middle to Gunner Olszewski. Ron’Dell Carter working at LOLB trying a cross chop.

12. Last rep. Oladokun fires left seam but never sees Mark Robinson. Throws it right into his belly but Robinson drops the pass for what should’ve been an easy INT.

Camp Summary

– If you’re counting along, that’s now seven reps for QB Chris Oladokun. And nearly one interception.

– Lots of work for Kenny Pickett today. The nature of this practice, shells and scout-team work/looks, makes it harder to evaluate but he still played well, showing good touch and accuracy. I’m now expecting him to be the #2 QB this weekend behind Mitch Trubisky.

– It was the Gunner Olszewski show today. By my count, six catches for 85 yards in today’s practice. Five of those for 78 yards came from Pickett.

– Pittsburgh wanted a more experienced center in Ryan McCollum but two botched snaps today won’t make him happy.

– Defensively, Mark Robinson and Levi Wallace in my notes plenty today.

Saint Vincent Snapshot

Visual proof that Chris Oladokun exists and can play QB.

Twitter Camp Question

No question today. Using this as a chance to show you the game-worn Chidi Iwuoma jersey I picked up at camp today. Couldn’t pass up owning it.

Random Steelers’ Fact

The last time Pittsburgh was shutout in back-to-back games came in Weeks 10-11 of the 1951 season. In fact, they went 13 straight quarters without scoring a single point and then in the ’51 finale, put up 20 points in the fourth quarter to rally and beat Washington 20-10. Wild.

George Carlin’s Quote Of The Day

“People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.”

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