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Practice Report: August 9

Highlights from practice No. 14 of training camp:

  • RB Najee Harris did what he'd done in Canton, Ohio.
  • Keep the legs and feet moving. Push the pile. Get what's there and then a little more.
  • All of the descriptions of Harris' performance against the Cowboys last Thursday night in the Hall of Fame Game applied again this afternoon in "Seven Shots."
  • But did he score?
  • Harris got the ball on the second rep of the two-point conversion/short-yardage drill and found OLB Melvin Ingram III bearing down on him on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage. But the first-round pick from Alabama kept churning forward through Ingram's attempt at a high tackle as a crowd of bodies descended.
  • When everyone unpiled, the ball was on the right side of the goal line.
  • But did it get there in time?
  • Even the ultimate arbiter in such instances, head coach Mike Tomlin, couldn't say for certain.
  • "Somebody said his knee was down," Tomlin offered. "Somebody said he crossed the plane."
  • Harris was of the opinion he scored.
  • So was OT Zach Banner, who at the same time acknowledged the run could have been blocked better.
  • "That was an inside zone," he explained. "Backside, we need to get Ingram cut off or do something.
  • "That's the same chase-down play that J.J. Watt and other types of people at his caliber can do. So we gotta be able to keep (Ingram) off that."
  • Harris ran into the teeth of a defense that included nine players with first-team designations on the depth chart (DE Stephon Tuitt and OLB T.J. Watt didn't participate).
  • The offensive line was comprised, in part, by three players listed as starters (LT Chukwuma Okorafor, RG Trai Turner and Banner).
  • C Kendrick Green continued to run with the first-team offense, as he has done for the majority of camp, even though he's listed behind J.C. Hassenauer.

Take a look at the Steelers training and preparing for the 2021 season at Heinz Field

SEVEN SHOTS: The defense finished the drill in spectacular fashion with a leaping deflection by CB Mark Gilbert in the back of the end zone on a fade launched by QB Josh Dobbs for TE Eric Ebron.

That won the drill for the defense, 4-3.

Dobbs' first rep resulted in a conversion/score on a shovel pass to RB Jaylen Samuels.

QB Mason Rudolph threw incomplete on the drill's first rep and found WR Diontae Johnson in the end zone after the 2-yard run by Harris.

QB Dwayne Haskins missed both of his throws, the first for WR Anthony Johnson and the second for WR Rico Bussey.

X's & O's: OG Kevin Dotson took second-team reps for a second consecutive day, Dotson's second in 11-on-11 drills in camp … WR Cody White took part in his first 11-on-11 work at Heinz Field … Banner had a good time in his post-practice session with the media. It included the mention of former Steelers offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Alejandro Villanueva, who is now with the Baltimore Ravens. "He's a brother," Banner said of Villanueva. "We talked a couple times during camp, him and I, via text and one phone call, but when he lines up, he's a Rat-Bird." Banner also had some advice for media relations personnel directing LB Devin Bush to a different interview station: "Get him a stool" … Haskins connected with WR Isaiah McKoy for a 14-yard touchdown in "Red Zone." Dobbs hit Ebron for a longer score in the same 11-on-11 drill … RB Trey Edmunds fumbled a pitch in 11-on-11 work (LB Tegray Scales recovered).

HE SAID IT: "It's kinda the dog days of summer today. Some guys were thriving, some guys were surviving, and that's just a part of this process. It's good to challenge them openly along those lines and see who can respond to those challenges. The guys that were thriving, can they continue to do so tomorrow? The guys that were in survival mode, man, they gotta step it up.

"The mental aspect of this journey is a significant one. We're not gonna run away from it. Today wasn't a good enough day. We'll see what tomorrow holds." _ Tomlin

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 QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR James Washington, WR Ray-Ray McCloud, RB Benny Snell, CB Antoine Brooks Jr., RB Kalen Ballage (lower-body injury), OLB T.J. Watt and DE Stephon Tuitt, who was back at Heinz Field after a two-day absence.