Practice report: A day for the defense

LATROBE, Pa. – Key takeaways from today's practice at Saint Vincent College:

One day after outside linebackers coach Joey Porter called it "getting bullied" during the first installment of the goal-line drill, the defense bounced back with a practice in which it got the better of each of the competition periods. It started with "seven shots," and the defense posted a 6-1 win. The only touchdown for the offense came on a pass from Tyler Murphy to a wide open Jesse James in the middle of the end zone.

The offense thought it had a score on the first snap, but Will Allen ripped the ball out of Le'Veon Bell's grasp as the running back was going to the ground in the end zone, and as Dez Bryant can attest, that's not a catch in the NFL.

The defense closed the drill with a bang. With Murphy still at quarterback, Terence Garvin would have had a sack if hitting the quarterback was permitted, and then after Murphy got rid of the ball, Gerod Holliman knocked it away from James.


The Pittsburgh Steelers continue training camp with their sixth straight day of practice in pads.

The first four plays were all runs, and they gained a combined 6 yards. Maybe. And it all came on one play by Cameron Stingily. Outside of that, safety Robert Golden, defensive end Clifton Geathers, and defensive end Stephon Tuitt all made plays to stuff the running back. The longest gain of the period was a 15-yard run in which Jawon Chisholm bounced outside and picked up about 15 yards. There was, however, a nice pass play, which brings us to …

It came on the fifth snap of the tackle football period. Off a play-action fake, Landry Jones found Heath Miller all alone down the middle of the field. After making the catch, Miller added another 25-30 yards on the run to complete what was about a 45-yard gain. The only other candidate in this category was C.J. Goodwin, who caught a touchdown pass from Tyler Murphy on the final snap of the afternoon practice session.

After completing six straight practices in pads, the Steelers are off tomorrow. They will resume on-field work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons, with each of the 2:55 p.m. sessions open to the public. The team then leaves on Saturday for its preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9.

For the first time in this camp, the Steelers had to do a bit of dodging raindrops to get through their entire practice session. Despite some ominous clouds and the occasional rumble of thunder, they took care of business. "As long as there's no lightning, I don't care about the weather," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "Football is an all-weather game, but we don't do lightning."


"We got some guys back. Maurkice Pouncey participated fully today. (Ryan) Shazier worked some today. We've also got a few new injuries. Eli Rogers went down with a right foot sprain of some description. Isaiah Lewis wasn't able to finish with a hamstring. (Dan McCullers) had a minor hamstring injury. We'll see where it is and get him evaluated. Hopefully it doesn't keep him out too long. He's been doing some good things. No real updates on any of the guys who have been out. We've got a day off tomorrow, we'll get a good assessment of those guys and be ready to go on Wednesday. Hopefully we'll get some of those short-termers back, but really more than anything get a good assessment of those guys tomorrow."

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