In the zone

LATROBE, Pa. _ "Seven Shots" agrees with wide receiver Justin Hunter.

The fifth-year, free-agent acquisition caught a conversion/touchdown pass for the second consecutive day today in the Steelers' practice-opening drill.

Hunter initially hauled in a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on a fade to the back corner of the end zone that was called a touchdown at first and then overruled by General Manager Kevin Colbert, who insisted Hunter hadn't gotten two feet down before going out of bounds.

Two snaps later Hunter went up and came down with a pass to the back of the end zone in the vicinity of the goal post at safety Sean Davis' expense. And this time there was no doubt about the catch.

"I love that," Hunter said of the drill. "That's called the money zone and I'm trying to get all that cash in there."

Hunter said the Titans didn't have a drill that approximated "Seven Shots" when he played for them from 2013-15.

They didn't have Roethlisberger, either.

"Ben is definitely a 14-year guy," Hunter observed. "He's been around a lot of good receivers. He's been in the system a long time, Pro Bowls, Super Bowls. I just felt like I could learn something from him."


THE MAIN EVENT:** Second-year cornerback and former first-round pick Artie Burns once again followed All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown all over the field, which was the plan for the outset of training camp.

"It was yesterday and today and that's prescribed by me," head coach Mike Tomlin said. "I'm just interested in creating a good environment, one that's geared toward competition. Those two guys like to compete. I think it's contagious. I think it turns others on.

"It helps cultivate the environment we're looking for."

FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BALL: Fullback Rosevelt Nix came up with a reception when a pass from Roethlisberger deflected off Nix's hands to Davis, and then off Davis' hands back to Nix.

"That's embarrassing," Davis said. "Hey Coach, please don't put that in the team meeting tonight."

Tomlin's response: "You write the story, I tell it."

MEDICAL FILE: Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle) didn't practice. "It should be a number of days but we'll take it day-to-day," Tomlin said. Cornerback Cam Sutton didn't finish practice due to a lower-body injury that "doesn't appear to be significant," Tomlin said. Linebacker William Gay didn't practice and instead worked out in sweats for the second consecutive day.


Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2nd Day of training camp.

QUICK-HITTERS:** Practice was moved to Greater Latrobe Senior High School for the second consecutive day due to wet conditions at Saint Vincent College … Kicker Chris Boswell made nine consecutive field goals of varying lengths as the Steelers worked on the snap-hold-kick process for the first time in camp. Roethlisberger held on one of the attempts ("Great hold," someone yelled). Boswell also converted six kicks on six attempts from 35 to 45 yards away without a long snapper or holder …  Linebacker Steven Johnson dropped an interception in 11-on-11 work … Linebacker Vince Williams had a big hit on running back Trey Williams. "Oh, yeah, Vinnie," safety Mike Mitchell hollered. "I like that."

HE SAID IT: "We'll take a significant step tomorrow as we put on the pads and really get an opportunity to evaluate these guys in a true football sense, and I think we're ready for that. It's  time to take that significant step and I'm sure we're excited abut doing it. We play football tomorrow." _ Tomlin

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