LATROBE, Pa. _ The final practice of training camp was officially called at 4:25 this afternoon due to weather, but there was still a lot to like about the Steelers’ Saint Vincent College experience from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s perspective.
“We wanted to come in and get some work together, some young guys, new guys,” Roethlisberger maintained. “Worked the no-huddle, worked two-minute, worked red zone, so I think there was some good stuff.
“We got to see what guys were going to do with pads on, too, in terms of physicality, so I think it was good.”
Roethlisberger didn’t participate in 11-on-11 drills in the non-padded practice, other than to run a two-minute drill that covered 52 yards in 1:01 but was ultimately stopped 4 yards short of the goal line and the required touchdown.
But he threw in position drills to wide receivers he maintained are showing the growth he was hoping to notice.
“James Washington, I thought, had a great camp,” Roethlisberger continued. “‘Crief’ (Donte Moncrief) we didn’t get to see a lot of because of the finger but he’s starting to come back. And I think what we’ve seen from JuJu (Smith-Schuster) is what we all anticipated, something special.”
Roethlisberger was also impressed with what he saw from inside linebacker and 10th-overall draft pick Devin Bush.
“In practice it wasn’t anything special, but he wasn’t making mistakes,” Roethlisberger observed. “And then you watch the game (against Tampa Bay), you see the box score. I know he had a bunch of tackles and made some plays, he’s just there. He’s just doing things and he’s doing the right thing and you don’t hear him getting hollered at because he’s doing wrong.
“To me, that’s important for a guy at that position. It may not be all the special and ‘wow’ plays you make, but when you’re not screwing up that’s just as important.”
MEDICAL FILE: Cornerback Joe Haden, inside linebacker Mark Barron, first-year tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson, center Maurkice Pouncey, guard David DeCastro, offensive lineman B.J. Finney, fifth-round tight end Zach Gentry, outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi and inside linebacker Vince Williams were among the players who either didn’t practice or didn’t participate in 11-on-11 drills due to either injury or a coach’s decision.
IT’S GOOD: Kicker Chris Boswell hit a 46-yard field goal that concluded a two-minute drive led by rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges. The offense got the ball with 1:01 on the clock at the offense’s 46-yard line and had one timeout at its disposal. Boswell’s kick sailed directly over the left upright. The word from the field was it would have been called good in a game.
Boswell and rookie kicker Matthew Wright alternated attempts of 33, 52, 40, 52, 33, 42 and 52 yards in field goal drills. Boswell’s only miss was on his second attempt from 52 yards (wide left). Wright was short and wide left on his first 52-yard try.
EXTRA POINTS: Pouncey participated in position drills. First-year center Patrick Morris snapped for the first-team offense … The “dime” alignment used by the defense against the first-team offense in the first two-minute drill had Terrell Edmunds and first-year defensive back Kameron Kelly at safety, Artie Burns, Steve Nelson and Mike Hilton at cornerback and Sean Davis playing the linebacker/safety hybrid position next to Bush (the spot defensive back Cam Sutton had been occupying) … The offense operated off of cards simulating Kansas City plays during 11-on-11 work. The Steelers host the Chiefs on Saturday night … Inside linebacker Tyler Matakevich got first-team “nickel” reps in 11-on-11 “Team Run/Play-Action Pass” … Hodges had a long touchdown pass to Smith-Schuster and completed a deep fade to wide receiver Trey Griffey in 11-on-11 work. Safety P.J. Locke stepped in front of a deep pass from Hodges to Moncrief but dropped the interception … Roethlisberger was 5-for-9 for 52 yards passing in his two-minute drill. Hodges was 2-for-2 for 27 yards on his march and was also “sacked” by outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo after attempting to step up in the pocket.