Highlights from practice No. 19 of training camp:
- The Heinz Field portion of camp concluded today with QB Ben Roethlisberger pronouncing himself prepared to execute play-action/bootlegs and function from under center as necessary in new coordinator Matt Canada's offense.
- "That's what our offense is, right?" Roethlisberger observed after practice. "We're under center, we're play-action, we're running the ball, so if that's what it's called to do that's what I'll do."
- Roethlisberger had been especially active and adept executing in such situations on Tuesday.
- He functioned well enough this afternoon to go 3-for-4 in "Seven Shots."
- The only Roethlisberger pass that didn't result in a conversion/touchdown was his first.
- That one was dropped by WR Diontae Johnson in the end zone.
Take a look at the Steelers training and preparing for the 2021 season at Heinz Field
SEVEN SHOTS: The two-point conversion/short-yardage drill returned after a two-day hiatus and the offense went 6-for-7 overall.
Roethlisberger hit WR James Washington, tight end Pat Freiermuth and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in succession following the Johnson drop. Washington's reception was especially impressive. He went up and made a combat catch over CB Joe Haden and then got both feet down in bounds on the way down.
QB Mason Rudolph took over and found WR Cody White, Freiermuth and WR Anthony Johnson on three consecutive reps.
CATCH OF THE DAY: Haden made a leaping tip of a pass thrown by QB Dwayne Haskins in 11-on-11 "Defense-Drives No. 1" and then caught the ball while falling to the turf. He got up quickly and started running down the field the other way.
OFFENSE: Johnson also dropped a fade from Roethlisberger on an under-center/play-action pass in "Offense-Red Zone/Short Yardage/Goal Line" … White made an arms-extended, toe-tapping grab of a laser from Rudolph in the back of the end zone in 11-on-11 "Offense Team-Red Zone" … Rookie OT Dan Moore Jr. replaced RT Zach Banner as "Offense-Team Red Zone" progressed … Haskins fumbled a shotgun snap in an 11-on-11 session.
DEFENSE: CB Arthur Maulet remained the first-team nickel-CB (CB Antoine Brooks, Jr. didn't practice after returning from an extended absence on Wednesday). CB Cam Sutton also got nickel work with the first-team defense (CB James Pierre replaced Sutton outside). Sutton got the majority of nickel snaps in 11-on-11 "Defense-Red Zone." Undrafted rookie Shakur Brown played the nickel with the second-team defense and in offensive periods .… LBs Marcus Allen and rookie Buddy Johnson shared second-team reps behind starters Joe Schobert and Devin Bush (Allen handled the majority of the work) … Pierre and Justin Layne ran with the second team at CB … OLBs Malvin Ingram III, Alex Highsmith and Cassius Marsh were deployed on occasion standing up in the middle of the formation in the base defense during 11-on-11 work.
SPECIAL TEAMS: WRs Ray-Ray McCloud and Mathew Sexton and RB Anthony McFarland were deployed as punt returners. McFarland was positioned as a kickoff returner … Christian Kuntz snapped with the first team and Kam Canaday with the second team during place-kicking drills.
MEDICAL FILE: Among those who either didn't participate or only took part in position drills or individual work were WR Chase Claypool, Brooks, OLB T.J. Watt and DE Stephon Tuitt.
X's & Os: Crowd noise was used during defensive periods in advance of Saturday night's home game against Detroit … Claypool was on the field for the second consecutive day after getting hurt late in Tuesday's practice. He caught some passes in the far end zone from Rudolph, QB Dwayne Haskins and QB Josh Dobbs during special teams work. Johnson and FS Minkah Fitzpatrick also took advantage of the extra time to work on their ball skills.