Intensity picks up at practice

With the players in pads for a second straight day the intensity continued to build as the Steelers practiced on Sunday afternoon at St. Vincent College.

Coach Mike Tomlin said he liked the intensity, adding that there can always be more, but was pleased with the day's efforts.

"I thought we did good, spirited work today," said Tomlin. "The guys are getting better technically. They're competing. We'll look to mix and match personnel and put guys in competitive situations. I like some of the things we're seeing.

"Obviously some things fall short. That's why we're here in Latrobe to develop individually and collectively. But it was a good day's work."

Under a baking sun things heated up on the field when rookie offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum got into a few shoving matches, once with second-year defensive end Cameron Heyward and a second time with rookie Ikponmwosa Igbinosun.

While there weren't any other scrapes, the players did like the intensity.

"That's the way we want it. We want it intense," said defensive end Brett Keisel. "We want it at the highest level of competitiveness. We want it every day because that is when you are going to see the best out of all of the guys competing to be on this team.

"It's the job of those of us who have been around to make sure the intensity stays this high."

Keisel did his part before practice got rolling, firing the guys up and getting them ready to go.

"It's a great sport," said Keisel. "It allows you to go out and compete in the most physical way possible. That is what I was trying to tell them…relax, let's go out there and compete and fight and have fun."

Steelers' players have their first day off on Monday, with no practice, meetings or film study scheduled.

"It is part of the new collective bargaining agreement to provide these guys with a day off," said Tomlin. "The big thing is that they take advantage of it, that they get better physically and mentally and that they prepare their bodies for the next opportunity to come out and show what they're capable of."

Tomlin on injuries: "It is status quo on the previously reported injuries. Keenan Lewis had shoulder sprain today that he suffered on a sideline hit. Trai Essex probably has a minor ankle injury. He rolled his ankle, as did David DeCastro. Those guys mentioned are day-to-day. Tomorrow is a players' day off. Hopefully they'll be back with us when we come back out on Tuesday."

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was held out of the practice on the turf for precautionary reasons only.

"I just gave him a day off," said Tomlin. "We're trying to stay ahead of the curve with him. He's had some durability issues in the past, particularly in training camp-like settings. He's been working down here on the turf. I just want to preserve him."

The Steelers resume practice on Tuesday, July 31 at 2:55 p.m. at St. Vincent College. The Steelers practice on Wednesday and Thursday at 2:55 as well. All three practices are open to the public. View the complete Training Camp Schedule.

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