With Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders on the sidelines with injuries, Ben Roethlisberger needed another target during the two-minute drill in practice on Tuesday.
And he found one in a player most fans don't think of immediately when they think of the team's wide receivers – second-year guy Tyler Grisham.
Roethlisberger went deep to Grisham for the only touchdown in the drill.
"When everyone is down we have to throw to somebody," said Roethlisberger. "He made a good play out there."
Grisham has quietly become a steady performer, someone who can play just about any role in the passing game and has solid hands. But he is behind guys like Wallace, Sanders, Antonio Brown and Hines Ward.
"I think he is doing big things," said Roethlisberger. "He learns the offense. You have to give him credit because he moves around to about four or five positions. He makes one mistake a day, but he is playing 30 different positions. You have to respect that.
"He hsd good hands when he focuses. When he drops one of the easier ones he loses concentration. When he stays focused he has really, really good hands. If we need him to step up and play he can do it and I have confidence he can do it."
During the two-minute drill crowd noise was played and fans around the sidelines were asked to make noise as well as the team prepares for a road preseason game in Washington on Friday night.
"That is just getting us ready," said Roethlisberger. "It's nothing more than getting ready just in case, even though the preseason is never that loud.
"I don't think it has sunk in yet that we play on Friday. Part of the reason is we lose track of what day it is up here. Once we get on the airplane it will start to sink in that it's game week or preseason week and it's time to get going. "
Without an offseason every team is in the same situation as far as where they are in training camp, but Roethlisberger doesn't think the Steelers are any further behind than they have been in the past and he credits that to having a veteran team.
"That is what is going to help us, having the veteran guys and the leadership we have," said Roethlisberger. "It is unusual circumstance we are in, but we have veteran guys who have been here and done that before. The offseason was almost beneficial to the guys. It's something where we can step up and be ready to go."
Wallace missed practice on Tuesday with a groin injury and while Roethlisberger said he joked with him about missing practice, he also sang the young receiver's praises.
"Every day he gets better," said Roethlisberger. "He has taken big strides from year one to year two and now you can tell the big difference to this year. We have gotten to the point where he is doing a lot of different routes that are going to be key to him to evolve has a wide receiver. Every year we see him progress."