The Steelers prepare for the regular season Week 1 matchup against the Washington Redskins.
SPITTIN' IMAGE:** The Steelers will be opposed by one of the NFL's most combative and competitive cornerbacks when they visit the Redskins and Josh Norman on Monday night, and they might have Mike Mitchell, in part, to thank for that.
"Josh is like my little brother," Mitchell insisted. "He gets a lot of that from me, I feel like."
Norman was a fifth-round pick by Carolina in 2012.
Mitchell joined the Panthers in 2013 after four years with the Raiders, then signed with the Steelers the following season.
"He has a physical mentality," Mitchell continued regarding Norman. "He's out there, it's not a game. Yeah, we're playing a game, but it's not a game. There's no chuckling, we're out there to do damage. He wants to try to beat you in the worst way possible. That's how I raised him.
"We had a great relationship, still keep in contact to this day. I was telling 'Coach T' (head coach Mike Tomlin), he's one of the more aggressive corners, probably, in the league. He's a very sure tackler. He wants the contact, wants the battle. He wants the trash talk, wants that grimy kind of dogfight, he embraces that."
The Steelers aren't sure if Norman will be assigned to follow wide receiver Antonio Brown all over the field.
But they're pondering such a possibility this week.
"I'm pretty confident going into the game (Norman) is excited for this," Mitchell said. "He's not going to turn it down."
And if it ultimately comes to that on Monday night?
"Get your popcorn ready," Mitchell said. "That's two fierce competitors, they both like to get after it."
INJURY UPDATES:** No official practice report was released but a number of the Steelers' injured players speculated about their status following today's workout.
-DE Cam Heyward (ankle): "I was limited (on Monday). This is the first full day I took most of the reps. I know my body better than anybody. I don't doubt myself. There's no 'limited' in my dictionary. I'll be ready to go full tilt."
-OT Marcus Gilbert (elbow): "I'm doing great. I felt good out there in practice today. I'm definitely going on Monday, I feel great. I know I can play Monday and beyond."
-WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder): "I'm there for sure, should be good to go. (Today he did) just a little individuals, a little bit at the beginning of practice and then sat out the rest."
-NT Javon Hargrave (quad): "I'm good, I think I have a good chance, just taking it day by day.
(Today the plan was to) just kinda take it off and heal up. Of course I want to be out there and I'm trying to be prepared. But at the same time I'm trying to come back from this and I don't want to have any setbacks."
Tomlin characterized those four players, and others, as "day to day" on Tuesday.