Practice Report: Opportunity knocks for Hargrave

LATROBE, Pa. - A breakdown of Practice No. 5 at Saint Vincent College:


Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 5th training camp practice.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS:** Rotations changed with several players either limited or held out of practice because of maintenance days or in response to minor bumps and bruises, especially along the defensive line.

DE Cam Heyward didn't practice much and DE Stephon Tuitt didn't practice at all, and that opened the door for others.

"More than anything I'm looking for a guy that takes advantage of the opportunity, that shows the conditioning necessary to take advantage of the opportunity," head coach Mike Tomlin said. "Increased reps means the potential for increased fatigue. I want to check their overall level of conditioning.

"And then secondly, their ability to produce with the extra reps."

When practice opened with "Seven Shots," the defense opened in a nickel with DT Javon Hargrave and DE Caushaud Lyons employed as the two defensive linemen.

In the final 11-on-11 "Team" period, Heyward played one snap and Hargrave played eight (four at nose in a 3-4 and four as a defensive tackle in nickel).

In between, Hargrave and DE Johnny Maxey rotated in for DE L.T Walton and Heyward as the nickel linemen in "Pass Under Pressure."

Hargrave was well-conditioned enough to chase down and help provide extra coverage on a pass to RB Fitz Toussaint in the flat.

That earned Hargrave a hug from inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky, who appreciated the hustle.

Dan McCullers, who has been lining up as the first-team nose, played all four of his snaps in the final period as a nickel-DT.

DE Ricardo Mathews was used in the base and nickel alignments.

SEVEN SHOTS: QB Ben Roethlisberger didn't go 4-for-4, as he had on Monday, but he was almost perfect again.

After a successful run by RB Le'Veon Bell, Roethlisberger twice connected with WR Antonio Brown in the end zone. The first was a throwback left after a roll right and the second a pass to the middle after a pump-fake.

On his last pass, Roethlisberger hit TE Xavier Grimble in the back of the end zone, but Grimble failed to get two feet down in the end zone.

QB Landry Jones threw incomplete for WR Levi Norwood and found TE Jesse James for a conversion.

LB Steven Johnson and CB Donald Washington combined to tackle RB Le'Veon Bell on the final snap. The offense won the drill, 4-3.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Work in the kicking game included a kickoff return drill. Return tandems used included Toussaint and WR Sammie Coates, RB Daryl Richardson and Norwood, WR Marcus Tucker and RB Cameron Stingily (Tucker initially muffed an attempt), RB Brandon Brown-Dukes and WR Issac Blakeney, Norwood and RB Christian Powell, Blakeney and Toussaint, Richardson and Stingily, Coates and WR Demarcus Ayers, and Norwood and Richardson.


MEDICAL FILE: ** Tomlin assessed the injuries as follows: CB Senquez Golson (Lisfranc) didn't practice and is a potential candidate for surgery). Ayers (ankle), Canaan Severin (shoulder) and LB Ryan Shazier ("shaken up a little bit") didn't finish practice. CB Artie Burns and LB Bud Dupree had the day off, as did Tuitt.

AUDIBLES: "You gotta dominate this drill, 'X.' You've got too much talent not to dominate this drill." _ Tomlin to Grimble during "Backs-on-'Backers" (pass coverage/pass receiving version).

"Yes, sir." _ Grimble to Tomlin in "Backs-on-'Backers."

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