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Practice report: Aug. 3

LATROBE, Pa. – Coach Mike Tomlin loves training camp, and if there are two specific things he loves about training camp they would be hot, miserable weather, and practice periods that concentrate on situational football. On Wednesday at Saint Vincent College, he got some of both.

After a week of temperatures in Latrobe that bordered on chilly for this time of year, the sun was out in full force to drive temperatures into the low-90s with enough humidity to keep things uncomfortable. And Wednesday's session climaxed with a session of two-minute, with the ball placed 53 yards away from the goal line, 1:19 on the clock, one timeout, and the offense needing a touchdown – or if you care to look at the situation from the other side of the line of scrimmage, the defense needed to keep the offense out of the end zone.

"Always good when you can start moving towards situational football," said Tomlin, "and we're at that stage of development where we start working on the game-like scenarios, (such as) line to gain, possession downs, and we finished practice with the two-minute. It is important that we not only introduce that segment, but it's also important when we introduce that segment.

"We do it at the end of practice thoughtfully so that we work on developing conditioning and get displays of conditioning. It's important that guys have the ability to operate and operate with great detail and execute communication and all the things that you have in that situation but do so at the end of practice when there there's a little less gas in the tank. I just think that's reflective of what transpires at the end of the half or at the end of games."

Tomlin will give different quarterbacks opportunities to operate the two-minute session of practices over the course of training camp, and for the first installment he handed the reins to Mitch Trubisky. And Tomlin liked what he saw from the guy who has taken nothing but first-team reps throughout this process so far.

Trubisky moved the offense down the field by completing 5-of-7 passes, with the winning touchdown going to rookie George Pickens with a couple of seconds left on the clock. A big bounce-back day for him individually and the offense as a whole.

"He's a veteran, and he displayed that," said Tomlin about Trubisky's showing. "I thought his communication was good. I thought he directed younger players and made good use of opportunities. (He handled) the stoppages of the clock, huddle scenarios, etc., but that's what we expect veteran players to do."

The afternoon got off to a good start for the offense, because in the 7-Shots period close to the beginning of practice, the offense snapped its losing streak with a 4-3 victory.

On the opening snap, Trubisky's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Chris Wormley and fell incomplete. Defense, 1-0.

Trubisky came back on the next play with a touchdown pass to Pickens, who made a pretty play to secure the ball and get it across the goal line at the pylon. Tied, 1-1.

Trubisky went back to Pickens on the next play, but Pickens didn't catch the pass cleanly and that caused him to be unable to get his feet down in-bounds. And unlike previous days when the play was close enough to be the subject of a discussion/argument, NFL officials were in town and working the practice. Incomplete. Defense, 2-1.

On the third play, and the final one for Trubisky, he threw a pass in the back of the end zone for Jace Sternberger, who also juggled the ball briefly before securing it and also didn't get his feet down in-bounds. Defense, 3-1.

Wednesday's quarterback rotation had Mason Rudolph back in the No. 2 slot, and he quickly made things interesting with back-to-back touchdown passes. The first was to Tyler Vaughns, and the second to running back Jaylen Warren. Tied, 3-3.

Kenny Pickett came on for the seventh play, and it was another shovel pass. But this one came to the left of the formation, and after making the catch Connor Heyward got into the end zone to give the offense its 4-3 win.

After two days in full pads, the team conducted Wednesday's workout in helmets and shells. Tomlin also rested some veterans, including Cam Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Myles Jack. "All those who are missing work are really kind of status quo; no new information in regard to those things. The guys who are day-to-day continue to be so. Guys out for more extended time like Marcus Allen continue to be in that category as well."