Training Camp

Steelers Training Camp Diary: Day 14

Down the home stretch we come over the final days of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 training camp in Latrobe, PA. Camp wraps up this Thursday ahead of the team’s second preseason game. Let’s talk about what happened on Day 14.

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Camp Notes (Day 14)

– Injury roundup. Not as long a list of players out as yesterday. Not practicing today were: WR Calvin Austin III (foot), NT Montravius Adams (ankle), EDGE Alex Highsmith (ribs), FB Derek Watt (shoulder), and ILB Marcus Allen (hamstring). Austin walked down the Saint Vincent stairs in sneakers, no boot, so that’s a silver lining. Watt ran some sprints while Alex Highsmith and Marcus Allen jogged during portions of practice. Watt may be closest to return but all are working their way back.

SS Miles Killebrew was limited and didn’t work in team. Returning today included WR Miles Boykin, OL Chaz Green, and RB Benny Snell. All worked in full. RB Master Teague suffered an ankle injury in team and limped off before being carted back.

– Newly signed OG Bill Dunkle – a great name, by the way – will wear #68.

– Steelers in pads for the second straight day coming off their game. Checked my notes last year and they were in shells the first two practices after their preseason opener. Mike Tomlin taking a different approach this year. Believe NFL mandates you can’t be in pads three days in a row so they should be in shells Wednesday.

– Jaylen Warren’s ball security issues have been an issue this summer. He carried a football all throughout the beginning portion of practice with good security, three points of contact. Walking down the stairs, in warmups, he had it clutched to his chest.

– Second-team offensive line through warmups: Haeg-Dotson-Hassenauer-Leglue-Scott. Dotson and Kendrick Green would again rotate throughout the day.

– Third-team o-line with the roster shuffling to get from 90 to 85. Haeg-C.Green-Gilliam-Dunkle-Tucker.

– Pat Freiermuth participated in the punt return challenge but only caught three before the fourth one hit off a football he was holding. Maybe Zach Gentry can give it a shot tomorrow. See who comes out on top.

– Gunner Olszewski working on place holding before jumping into the return line during special teams warmups.

– Assistant strength & conditioning coach Marcel Pastoor gets to start stretch line as all the players line up and wait for his command. “Jog it out, jog it, jog it!” he yells out to get the group going.

– WRs Coach Frisman Jackson on coaching/teaching fades and tracking the ball over their shoulder. “Eyes to the sky, eyes to the sky!” 

– Special Teams notes. Punting data. 4.52 (72 yards), 4.12 (52 yards), 4.47 (53 yards), 4.92 (64 yards), 5.10 (54 yards, out of bounds), 5.30-ish (60 yards), 4.46 (44 yards), 4.99 (61 yards), 4.93 (62 yards), 5.05 (61 yards). Today, Harvin was as good as I’ve seen from him. His 72 yarder sailed over Tyler Vaughns’ head to the point where Vaughns backed up…and backed up…then turned around and just let it go. His 5.30-ish is an approximate hangtime, I was a little late on the stopwatch, but it was a tremendously good hangtime. One boot did go out of bounds but Harvin was fantastic today. I don’t know, maybe them releasing Cameron Nizialek took pressure off Harvin. Or maybe not.

On the punt team, Tre Norwood was the starting upback with Jaylen Warren and Benny Snell the starting wings. Warren was the second-string upback with Donovan Stiner and Mataeo Durant the wings.

– Ok, let’s talk team session work.

First Team Session (Seven Shots)

1. Kevin Dotson in at LG. Chris Wormley/Cam Heyward the DTs. Mitch Trubisky in at QB. 4×1 formation with George Pickens the backside X player. Najee Harris motioned out into a bunch/diamond set. Trubisky looks to that quad side for a bubble to Harris but doesn’t like the look and tucks the ball on a QB draw. You guys know me and I give the win to the defense anytime the QB has a rushing TD but I’m pretty sure the defense would’ve gotten the stop, Minkah Fitzpatrick wagging his finger like Dikembe Mutombo as he lets Trubisky duck past.

2. Trubisky throw to Diontae Johnson is off his outstretched hand and incomplete left side.

3. Claypool in the slot with Pickens and Johnson on the outside. Jaylen Warren split out slot left. Confusion along the line as James Daniels jumped early and the snap felt early/rushed. Would-be flag but the play goes on, Trubisky rolling left, fading back, and finally hitting TE Pat Freiermuth five yards deep and over the middle of the end zone for the score. I’ll give the offense the win here.

4. Freiermuth and Zach Gentry the two TE set. Warren in the backfield. Trubisky again finds Freiermuth down the left upright for the score, Cam Sutton trailing and covering. Touchdown.

5. Anthony McFarland in at RB. Kenny Pickett in at QB. Fake jet run to Gunner Olszewski with Pickett booting left. Hits McFarland in the left flat for the touchdown. Think he beat Spillane. “Way to kill, Ant Mac,” Tomlin says, in reference to Tomlin telling him to “kill all linebackers” earlier in camp.

6. “Let’s go,” the defense calls out, down 3-2 and needing to win the last two reps to win the day. Kenny Pickett in an empty set. Nice progression read and he finds Connor Heyward in the back of the end zone underneath the crossbar, who makes a nice diving catch against James Pierre. TD.

7. Kendrick Green in at LG with the 2’s. Mason Rudolph in at QB, Benny Snell in at RB. Rudolph fires a TD to Tyler Vaughns short right side for the score. Offense wins seven shots 5-2 with a sixth TD on the QB draw.

– An unusually late backs on ‘backers drill for camp, the second they’ve publicly done, though it wasn’t as intense and added DBs for some cat/safety blitzes.

Backs on ‘Backers

1. Good rep and shove by Jaylen Warren against Devin Bush.

2. Nice seal by Najee Harris to seal Myles Jack upfield.

3. Terrell Edmunds blew through Anthony McFarland, who gave him an outstretched shove but didn’t have much power behind it.

3. Not much contact here as Arthur Maulet goes around the edge against Master Teague.

4. They go again and there’s more contact here with Maulet ripping through Teague.

5. Nice swipe by Buddy Johnson to beat Mataeo Durant, who worked hard to recover but he was beat.

6. Najee Harris drops his eyes and head and Mark Robinson takes advantage, putting his right hand and pushing Harris’ earhole, moving him aside and getting past.

7. Good initial jolt by Devin Bush on Jaylen Warren but Warren’s able to recover and stay square.

8. Maulet beats McFarland to the edge with a quick swipe, though evaluating the DB rushes are a little harder to do.

9. Master Teague turns his hips a bit and Robert Spillane swims past him.

10. They go again and Teague pushes Spillane upfield.

11. Best rush of the day, Terrell Edmunds running full speed and over Mataeo Durant, who hits the dirt.

12. Johnson with a powerful bull rush, knocking Jaylen Warren off one foot.

13. They go again. Johnson tries to swim but Warren is able to seal.

14. Great rep from Harris who is in control against Spillane the whole time.

15. They go again. Lock up and Spillane pulls Harris forward and he falls though Spillane lost his footing at the end trying to get around him.

16. Warren with hard contact into Norwood. Not sure who won the rep.

17. McFarland wins and seals Carlins Platel.

18. Platel is able to rip through Durant around the edge.

19. Good battle but Teague is able to win against Mark Robinson.

20. They go again and Robinson bests Teague, running him over and smushing him for a really good rep.

21. Hard shove by Robinson is able to knock Teague off-balanced.

22. Warren and Bush go at it. Warren able to re-punch his hands first and controls the block and wins the rep.

23. Warren seals and pushes Bush up the arc.

24. Harris misses his punch and Norwood dips past.

25. Quick swim by Buddy Johnson works against Teague.

26. Durant holds on against Robinson’s power rush. He’s leaning, it’s not perfect, it works.

Second Team Session

1. Handshake between Bill Dunkle and Kevin Rader as they get to know each other. Backups in to start this session, kicking off a live-tackle session. Carlos Davis and Donovan Jeter the DTs with Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and Ron’Dell Carter the OLBs. Offensive line of: Haeg-C.Green-Gilliam-Dunkle-Tucker. Justin Layne and Chris Steele the CBs. Mason Rudolph at QB and under center. 13 personnel. Teague carry left side for a couple. Steele made the tackle along the sideline and Teague’s leg bent awkwardly. He got up and bravely tried to limp back to the huddle but trainers pulled him aside and John Norwig examined him before Teague got on the cart and left.

2. Playaction for 19 yards from Rudolph over the middle hitting WR Christian Blake, Steele on the coverage for the wrap-up tackle, though they didn’t go to the ground.

3. Rudolph back under center. Donovan Stiner flies in to tackle Mataeo Durant behind the line for a loss of two.

4. Blake and Tyler Vaughns on the outside with Tyler Snead in the slot. Four yard run by Durant as he runs up the middle and into a pile.

5. Tackling over. Trubisky in and under center. Johnson and Claypool the receivers in 12 personnel. Jaylen Warren tackled around the LOS, Larry Ogunjobi making the stop. Cam Heyward happy with the outcome, “Good shit!” 

6. Genard Avery at ROLB. Najee Harris up the middle for three. Terrell Edmunds fills the alley and Ogunjobi is in there too.

7. Harris right side. Ogunjobi again with the thud. Very active in this session.

8. Trubisky in shotgun. Complete to Claypool left side but it’s only a gain of two. Cam Sutton runs through Steven Sims’ block and makes the stop.

9. Kenny Pickett in at QB. Low snap from Hassenauer but Pickett is able to corral it. Handoff to McFarland and he shows burst for five yards.

10. DeMarvin Leal and Isaiahh Loudermilk the DTs. Pony grouping with McFarland and Snell. Snell carry up the middle for six, a good push by the o-line here.

11. Pickett under center. Olszewski in the slot, Blake and Sims on the outside. Snell carry for three, bouncing this run right side. James Pierre contain and turns him back in.

Third Team Session

1. Ball on the offense’s 26. Mitch Trubisky in at QB, empty set. Harris split out. Throw over the middle connects with Diontae Johnson on a slant for ten.

2. Devin Bush and Myles Jack the ILBs. Wormely-Alualu-Heyward the down front. Kevin Dotson in at LG. George Pickens and Chase Claypool the two WRs in a twin set. Trubisky complete to Claypool left side, Terrell Edmunds on the tag for a gain of 11. Devin Bush came free on a blitz for the would-be sack.

3. Devin Bush and Robert Spillane the ILBs. T.J. Watt and Genard Avery the OLBs. Screen left to Najee Harris for a gain of three. Harris did fumble at the very end of this rep.

4. Pocket collapses entirely on Trubisky under a heavy blitz. He fires deep down left sideline for Diontae Johnson but it misses him out in front by a step or two and incomplete.

5. Kenny Pickett in at QB, Anthony McFarland the RB. Bubble screen right complete to Steven Sims for four yards.

6. Leal-Mondeaux-Loudermilk the DL. Delontae Scott the LOLB but detached from the line. Pickett checks down left side to Benny Snell for four. Good finish by Hamilcar Rashed Jr. to try and punch the ball out, Mike Tomlin happy as he calls out to “Ham” for the finish.

7. Pickett shotgun. Five-yard completion to Kevin Rader right side, James Pierre unable to swipe the ball out in time.

8. Pickett again in the gun. Pierre and Levi Wallace on the outside with Tre Norwood in the slot. Damontae Kazee and Donovan Stiner the safeties. Pickett complete to Gunner Olszewski for nine yards.

9. Jordan Tucker in at LT, Chaz Green LG, Nate Gilliam at center. Mason Rudolph empty set. Boots and hits Tyler Snead left side for a gain of 14, Snead open and picking up YAC before Stiner takes the angle and tags him. NCB Carlins Platel on a Cat (nickel corner) blitz off the edge.

10. Justin Layne and Chris Steele on the outside with Platel in the slot. Linden Stephens and Stiner the safety pairing. Rudolph throws left side for Vaughns and Vaughns dives for it along the sideline but the ball falls through his hands as he goes to the ground. Platel covering. Carlos Davis busted through and hit the RB who hit Rudolph who stumbled back a bit.

11. Don’t know if it was part of the rotation or because the QB got hit but Davis gets pulled out. Loudermilk-Jeter-Khalil Davis the down linemen. Pony set with McFarland on the field. Rudolph complete on a slant left to right for nine yards, White making a good snag high and over his head.

12. O-line of: Haeg-C.Green-Gilliam-Dunkle-Tucker. 11 personnel. Screen right to McFarland is blown up, Mark Robinson bursting through and he makes the stop for a whopping loss of six.

Fourth Team Session

1. Larr y Ogunjobi and Cam Heyward the TDs. Mitch Trubisky the QB, Fitzpatrick and Edmunds the safeties with Watt/Avery the EDGE rushers and Jack/Bush the ILBs. Najee Harris the RB. Trubisky under center. Harris run for four yards, Mason Cole getting out to the second level and swallowing up Devin Bush.

2. Trubisky shotgun. Twelve-yard completion to Pat Freiermuth over the middle.

3. Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool aligned to the offense’s right side, Claypool in the slot, with Connor Heyward split out backside as the X. Trubisky hits Johnson on a slant for five.

4. Trubisky under center. Tight formations with the WRs attacked to the line in square, two-point stances like an old Wing-T offense. Olszewski jet right to left. Sims struggles to hold his block and this play basically goes nowhere. Sims is hopping up and down after the play, either a little dinged or a little mad or both.

5. 12 personnel. Pickett complete left flat to Olszewski with Devin Bush getting a hand on him and tripping him up for no gain. Good play by Bush.

6. Damontae Kazee and Donovan Stiner the safety pairing. Pierre and Steele the CBs, Norwood in the slot against 11 personnel. Genard Avery gets pressure and Kenny Pickett has to step up and roll right throwing underneath for Steven Sims who drops the pass as a DB barrels down on him.

7. Complete this time Pickett to Sims right side for a seven-yard gain. James Pierre on the tag.

8. Delontae Scott and Ron’Dell Carter the OLBs. Norwood still in the slot. Snell carry right side for two, Kazee coming down and tagging him before letting him through.

9. Dime defense, Robert Spillane the lone ILB. Pierre and Steele on the outside with Norwood in the slot and Carlins Platel the roving dime defender. Pickett’s throw for Olszewski about ten yards left side is incomplete, fired between two defenders, Steele and someone else I don’t have noted.

10. Mason Rudolph checks in. James Vaughters and Hamilcar Rashed Jr. the OLB pairing. Dunkle in at RG. Rudolph boot left has an open Vaughns but he flat out drops the pass. An ugly one.

11. Layne and Steele the outside corners with Platel in the slot. Stephens and Stiner the safety pairing. Rudolph fires a quick slant to Snead against Steele for a gain of seven. “Good ball, 2!” Tomlin calls out to Rudolph.

12. Rudolph empty set. Completion to Mataeo Durant left side for a couple. Khalil Davis chases Durant hard downfield, showing off his athleticism for a big man.

13. Carlos Davis and Donovan Jeter the DT pairing. Rudolph has Vaughns open but he drops another pass, his second of the drill, off his hands over the middle. Snap felt low and the line didn’t seem on the same page and Carlos Davis blew by the now-waived Nate Gilliam.

– OL/DL 1v1 notes.

OL/DL

1. Chukwuma Okorafor seals Genard Avery up the arc.

2. Avery flips sides and uses an effective inside spin move to dust Dan Moore Jr.

3. Avery is able to dip the edge but is wide up the arc and Moore seals him enough here.

4. Cam Heyward’s rip and spin both fail against Dotson who mirrors effectively against both moves.

5. Dotson good anchor against Heyward’s strong bull rush.

6. Tyson Alualu pushes Mason Cole back as he hop steps to try to regain ground. Alualu rips through inside late.

7. Alualu’s swipe misses off the line and Cole seals him.

8. Good battle between Ogunjobi and James Daniels here. Ogunjobi showed power and walked Daniels back a bit.

9. Daniels slides and mirrors and wins the rep against Ogunjobi as Ogunjobi falls to the ground.

10. Ogunjobi is able to re-punch his hands and get into Daniels’ chest and runs him backwards, taking Daniels for a ride.

11. Hamilcar Rashed Jr.’s spin move against Okorafor fails horribly, basically a trust-fall into Okorafor’s arms.

12. Good anchor by Okorafor to absorb Rashed’s bull rush, who doubles over and falls.

13. Good anchor by Moore here to handle Heyward’s bull.

14. Quick win by Dotson against Henry Mondeaux who falls down.

15. Mondeaux can’t rip through/past Dotson.

16. Ogunjobi gets inside of Cole and the reps seems to end early, though the “QB” (an assistant) was rolling left to the side Ogunjobi won so maybe the linemen didn’t want to collide into the QB.

17. Quick swim by Chris Wormley beats James Daniels.

18. Daniels is able to sit and anchor and beat Wormley this time.

19. Nice mirror by Okorafor against Watt’s spin.

20. Okorafor beats Watt again.

21. Joe Haeg wins this rep against Ron’Dell Carter.

22. Despite being much taller, Isaiahh Loudermilk gets under and uprights Kendrick Green, effectively walking him back as Green grabs hold of Loudermilk’s jersey and tries to stay in the fight.

23. Green looks better here and stalls out Loudermilk’s bull.

24. Hassenauer with a good win on Ogunjobi.

25. John Leglue lunges on the snap but DeMarvin Leal is slow to win the edge and can’t disengage.

26. Leal long-arm that Leglue can’t knock down but Leal can’t disengage either.

27. Carlos Davis swims past Dotson but appears to have tripped over the LT Joe Haeg. Davis didn’t seem to happy abotu that.

28. They go again. Dotson is leaning and giving up too much ground but he is able to win here.

29. Good push-pull by Khalil Davis to pull Dotson down and win the rep. Davis celebrating behind Dotson to close out the session.

Fifth Team Session

1. Two-minute drill. Ball on the offense’s 47. Watt and Avery the OLBs. Kenny Pickett getting to run the show. Five-yard completion hits Chase Claypool left side, Edmunds with the tag.

2. Checkdown to Najee Harris but he doesn’t get out of bounds and should have. Clock keeps rolling. Seven-yard gain.

3. Would-be sack with T.J. Watt ripping through Okorafor and touching Pickett. Pickett steps up and looks for Pat Freiermuth, who dives but can’t make the catch.

Mike Tomlin interrupts the session and is unhappy about something. Maybe for the QBs getting hit too much today.

4. Cover 2 hole shot hits an open George Pickens between the corner and safety deep down the right sideline for a gain of 27. Pickens thinks he’s in the end zone and runs the rest of the way, casually jogging underneath the uprights with the ball in hand, not realizing he was ruled down (no tackling here) and the clock is apparently running. So a little Chase Claypool/Vikings game thing going on here. Pickens hurries back to the huddle.

5. Pickett looks for Pickens but he’s doubled in the end zone by Edmunds and I believe Levi Wallace. Incomplete.

6. Derrek Tuszka beats Okorafor around the edge. Throw into the end zone is again incomplete. Drive ends there, stalled out at the 14.  Think time ran out here because this wasn’t 4th down.

– Now it’s Mason Rudolph’s turn under the same circumstances, ball at his own 47.

1. Double-clutch but hits Steven Sims right side for five. Don’t think he got out of bounds here.

2. Throw left side on a corner/7 route to Gunner Olszewski is incomplete, tipping off his hand. Donovan Stiner covering.

3. Pierre and Steele on the outside with Cam Sutton in the slot. Kazee and Stiner at safety. Completion to Christian Blake left side against Steele for a gain of ten.

4. Rudolph fires the ball away right side here.

5. Another double-clutch from Rudolph who wanted to go rigt side but checks down middle to McFarland for a gain of eight.

6. Good throw right side and Vaughns redeems himself a bit, making the catch along the sideline on a smash (corner/flat) concept. Gain of 18.

7. Vaughns and White on the outside with Tyler Snead in the slot. Warren in at RB. Rudolph looks for Cody White but the pass is incomplete, Pierre covering.

8. Rudolph’s pass left corner – believe to Vaughns – is incomplete. Steele covering.

9. Olszewski in the slot. Blake as the X. Throw left side for Jace Sternberger down the left seam. Cam Sutton covering and the pass is incomplete, out of the end zone and hitting off the Acrisure sign that lines the place behind the back of the end zone.

10. 4th down. Rudolph’s throw right side for Blake is incomplete for Pierre. That ends the day.

Camp Summary

– Defense certainly taking hold of the two-minute drill the last two days, going a perfect 0/4 Monday and Tuesday. QB stats here.

Kenny Pickett: 3/6 39 yards, 0 TDs 0 INTs
Mason Rudolph: 4/8 41 yards, 0 TDs 0 INTs

– For what it’s worth. Jaylen Warren running ahead of Benny Snell today. Warren certainly getting all the chances he can.

– Tough day for Tyler Vaughns with two clear drops and clearly a third one. Hadn’t been much of an issue until this point so hopefully a bad day. Overall, Steven Sims and Jace Sternberger have inconsistent hands.

– Chukwuma Okorafor has improved and did really well in 1v1s today, especially against Watt, but he takes his lumps in some of the team sessions. Dan Moore may be more comfortable and confident but it’s not been quite the jump I’m hoping for. Still a ways to go in this process though.

– Kevin Dotson had a really good day. Impressive in 1v1s against Cam Heyward. He needs to stack them and have a good game Saturday.

– Najee Harris wasn’t perfect in backs on ‘backers today but he’s going to be one of the league’s top pass protecting backs. His size, his tenacity, he’s just tough to move. He keeps his eyes up, you won’t be able to move him. You’ll have to go around him.

– Quiet camp for Zach Gentry. Missed a little bit of time but don’t have a lot to report on him.

– Mark Robinson certainly has that Vince Williams vibe. When he sees it and can get downhill, he attacks the ball with authority.

– Not a ton to note in the secondary today. Terrell Edmunds has put together a couple nice practices. He is who he is at this point but he’s had a couple more impactful plays, including that truck stick against Mataeo Durant in backs on ‘backers.

– Don’t often do “winner of the day” but I gotta give the gold to Pressley Harvin. He was stellar. Just crushing the ball.

Saint Vincent Snapshot

Calvin Austin III walking next to Marcel Pastoor early in practice.

Twitter Camp Question

Robinson ran a 4.69 40 at his Pro Day. Lack of long speed is the concern. He’s had good moments underneath in 1v1 but got exposed in the preseason opener. But he’s so new to the position, you’re going to take your lumps. He’s not going to be Fred Warner or Darius Leonard but we’ll see how he improves. Again, it’s a little Vince Williams like.

Random Steelers’ Fact

The first known Steeler with 150+ receiving yards in one game came in 1952 when Dick Hensely had 154 yards in one of the Steelers’ biggest routs ever, beating the New York Giants 63-7. Hensley would only have 199 total yards that season, meaning 77.4% of his yards that year came in one game.

George Carlin’s Quote Of The Day

“These are the kinds of thoughts that made it necessary to separate me from the other kids at school.”

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