Highlights from practice No. 11 of training camp:
- The Steelers are aware QBs Dwayne Haskins and Josh Dobbs could be tasked with running the two-minute offense against the Cowboys on Thursday night, in Canton, Ohio.
- Both were prepared for such an eventually today, just in case.
- "In anticipating that maybe Dwayne will finish the first half and Josh will finish the game, we're gonna work two-minute today just in anticipation of trying to get the guys game-ready that could be in the game at those moments," head coach Mike Tomlin announced prior to practice at Heinz Field.
- Haskins looked ready.
- Dobbs did not.
- The challenge this time, Haskins' third shot at running the two-minute offense in camp, was to drive 67 yards for a touchdown in 1:48 with one timeout.
- Haskins pulled it off with 30 seconds to spare.
- He went 4-for-6 on the march and hit his last three passes in succession, including a 24-yard strike to first-year WR Anthony Johnson for a touchdown.
- Johnson caught two passes for 44 yards on the drive, and first-year TE Kevin Rader had two receptions for 23 yards.
- Dobbs' possession lasted just two plays.
- Following a 7-yard completion, Dobbs tried to hit TE Marcus Baugh but the ball sailed high and was intercepted by rookie S Donovan Stiner.
- End of drill.
- End of practice.
- See you in Canton.
Take a look at the Steelers training and preparing for the 2021 season at Heinz Field
SEVEN SHOTS: QB Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted on his first rep, a sign of things to come in a 4-3 triumph for the defense in the signature, two-point conversion/short-yardage drill.
Roethlisberger tried to hit RB Najee Harris but OLB Alex Highsmith came down with the ball.
The final rep also resulted in a turnover, an interception by rookie CB Mark Gilbert on a pass Haskins intended for Baugh.
In between Roethlisberger found WR Diontae Johnson and rookie TE Pat Freiermuth for touchdowns/conversions, and QB Mason Rudolph failed to connect with WR James Washington (the pass was deflected by CB Justin Layne), was "sacked" by LB Ulysees Gilbert (Rudolph eventually flipped the ball to RB Trey Edmunds), and hit RB Jaylen Samuels in the end zone.
In six practices since the shoulder pads first came on last Wednesday, the running count in "Seven Shots" is Offense 21, Defense 21.
Iron sharpens iron.
BOUNCING BACK: Harris left a 1-on-1 pass coverage drill and had his right shoulder looked at by head athletic trainer John Norwig. Harris had eluded the coverage attempts of LB Devin Bush and LB Robert Spillane prior to catching passes from Roethlisberger before exiting temporarily.
The first-round pick from Alabama was back on the field for the first rep of the next drill, "Team Run."
RUNNIN' ON EMPTY: Yards were tough to come by in "Team Run."
The first four reps consisted of a run for no gain by Harris, a tackle for a loss by CB Cam Sutton on a screen to Johnson, a false start, a tackle for a loss of 1 by Gilbert on Harris, and a loss of yardage on a outside run by RB Kalen Ballage (the play was turned inside by OLB Cassius Marsh).
Running back Tony Brooks-James, signed today, fumbled on his first carry on the second-to-last rep of the drill (CB Shakur Brown recovered).
MEDICAL FILE: Among those who either didn't participate or only took part in position drills or individual work due to a variety of reasons were K Chris Boswell, WR Ray-Ray McCloud, WR Cody White (hamstring), RB Benny Snell, RB Anthony McFarland, OG Kevin Dotson, OT Chaz Green, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, TE Zack Gentry, TE Eric Ebron (elbow), OLB T.J. Watt and DE Stephon Tuitt.
LB Marcus Allen and OT Anthony Coyle were among those who returned to 11-on-11 drills.
Freiermuth (left shoulder) exited early.
X's & O's: Sutton made perhaps the play of the day when he tipped a Roethlisberger pass for Washington, found the ball and toe-tapped the sideline for an acrobatic interception in "Pass Under pressure/Third Down" … Jordan Berry and Pressley Harvin III alternated on punts to the end zone, punts from the end zone and directional kicks in a live punting period … Brooks-James had a long run in "First Down Run/Play-Action Pass" … FB Derek Watt caught a long play-action pass from Haskins after having hauled in a similar ball from Haskins in "Team Run" … Marsh would have "sacked" Haskins on the ball to Watt in "Team Run." Marsh also would have had a pair of "sacks" on Rudolph in "Pass Under Pressure/Third Down" had they been tackling quarterbacks … Smith-Schuster, Washington and WR Chase Claypool practiced one-handed catches on fades.