Practice Report: Aug. 4

LATROBE, Pa. – After missing out on Friday Night Lights the past three summers, two because of COVID-19, last year because of a severe thunderstorm that swept through the area, a record crowd of 13,957 was on hand for the event Friday night as the Steelers returned to Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

And they were treated to a highlight-reel reception.

Only this time, it wasn't George Pickens or Diontae Johnson making an acrobatic catch.

The one that had the crowd on its feet and cheering was a catch by backup center Kendrick Green, who lined up at fullback on three plays in an 11-on-11 drill.

On his first snap, Green fired out of the backfield and pancaked outside linebacker Quincy Roche to seal the edge on a running play.

Many in the crowd might not have recognized that. But they certainly did on the next play when Green rolled out of the backfield on a play-action pass to catch a pass in the flat. He turned his 6-foot-4, 315-pound frame upfield and ran over 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker Toby Ndukwe before fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski came across the field to help get Green on the ground.

That elicited a huge cheer from the crowd and had his fellow offensive linemen celebrating. They then watched on the next play as Green ran Ndukwe over again on the following play as a lead blocker, again much to the pleasure of the crowd on hand.

"It was just something we're dabbling with," Green said following Friday night's practice. "I don't think it is going to be anything too serious going forward. We'll see."

It's not the first time that Green has played fullback for the Steelers – though it is the first time it happened in this setting.

Last season, he played some fullback in practice in the week leading up to the team's games against the Ravens, simulating Baltimore's 300-pound fullback Patrick Ricard.

"It's just something coach wanted to see," Green said.


After five-straight victories in 7-Shots, the defense didn't get bragging rights on this night, with the offense winning 5-2.

Kenny Pickett led the offense to scores on three of his four attempts at the drill with the first-team offense, with the only miss coming when Pickens stepped out of bounds while coming across the field on a rollout to the right by Pickett.

Pickett found Pickens in the back of the end zone, though cornerback Levi Wallace tipped the pass, forcing Pickens to catch the ball off a deflection before getting his feet in bounds. The NFL officials on hand ruled that Pickens had stepped out of bounds earlier, the second time this week he's had that happen.

That ruined a perfect night for Pickett, as he tossed a TD pass to a wide open Allen Robinson, who was back Friday after getting a veteran's day off Thursday on the opening play. Pickett also tossed a TD pass to Diontae Johnson, doing a nice job of looking off veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who tried to jump inside to help on the tight end, opening Johnson up for the easy score.

On his final attempt, Pickett rolled to his left, and though he was unable to find an open receiver, he beat the defense to the pylon in the front corner of the end zone for a TD.

Mitch Trubisky sealed the win for the offense on his first attempt, hitting Gunner Olszewski for a quick strike on a crossing route out of the slot. He then made a pretty pass to Calvin Austin in the back of the end zone with Madre Harper draped on him in coverage for another score to make it 5-1 before the defense got an incompletion on the final attempt when Trubisky threw behind Miles Boykin as he crossed the back of the end zone.


Mike Tomlin was in Canton, Ohio, for Friday night's Gold Jacket Dinner with inductee Ronde Barber, whom Tomlin coached when he was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs coach.

So, he wasn't on hand to give an update on injuries, though linebacker Elandon Roberts returned to practice Friday.