LATROBE, Pa. - A few key takeaways from the first practice in pads.
It's a highlight of Steelers Training Camp, when the running backs and linebackers square off.
BACKS-ON-'BACKERS:** The one-on-one pass rush/pass protection drill stacks the deck against the RBs (they aren't allowed to cut-block) and the LBs took full advantage. Three times a RB was "pancaked" (knocked flat on his back) by a LB (Vince Williams against DeAngelo Williams, Sean Spence against Ross Scheuerman and Arthur Moats against Jesse James) … DeAngelo Williams was beaten twice by Vince Williams but declined a requested rematch after having gotten the better of Spence. "He got his rep," head coach Mike Tomlin said. "The guy (Spence) asked for some get-back. Sometimes you don't get get-back." … Ryan Shazier beat Roosevelt Nix with a swim move and then a stutter on consecutive reps … Scheuerman was beaten by Jordan Zumwalt but then blocked Zumwalt to the ground on the next two reps … Lawrence Timmons went 3-for-3 and Vince Williams 3-for-4 in the drill … Bud Dupree worked in 'Backers-on-Tackles while Backs-on-'Backers was being staged.
TACKLING'S BACK: Backs-on-'Backers was followed by the first live-tackling drill of camp … Only one pass was thrown in the period and yards were tough to come by on the ground … RB Le'Veon Bell didn't participate in the drill … RB DeAngelo Williams had a cutback for significant yardage against the second-team defense … WR/RB Dri Archer caught the only pass in the drill (out of the backfield) and had one carry … LB Anthony Chickillo got great penetration and dropped Scheuerman for a loss … There was plenty of chatter and the drill proceeded at what appeared to be a brisk pace.
The Pittsburgh Steelers participated in their first practice in pads at 2015 Steelers Training Camp.
HOUSEKEEPING:** TE Matt Spaeth returned to practice. TE Heath Miller and S Mike Mitchell were the recipients of apparent days off. C B.J. Finney didn't finish practice (heat-related issue).
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER INT: CB Cortez Allen picked off Roethlisberger for a second consecutive practice. Allen came up with a ball intended for WR Antonio Brown in a third-down drill after having come away with a pass intended for WR Martavis Bryant in "Seven Shots" on Monday.
MIKE LIKES IT: Tomlin was pleased with the overall demeanor of the players as they hit for the first time in camp.
"As we get into pads and we infuse physicality into this thing it's important that we have mutual respect," he said. "You can do that while being competitive. I like the beginnings of that today."