LATROBE, Pa. – The two-day acclimation period that's mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement ended today under a hard rain at Saint Vincent College, with the biggest news being that starting tomorrow what the Steelers will doing on these fields is practicing football.
Check out Photos of the Pittsburgh Steeler's second day of Training Camp.
"It's not football-like, it's football," said Coach Mike Tomlin about what tomorrow will bring. "So I know that there's going to be a lot of people excited about doing that. I'm always excited about who ascends in those situations and who shrinks in those situations, and that's just the reality of it. It's a big step in the process, one that I'm sure we're all excited about taking."
Tomlin adjusted the practice schedule a bit to get most of the team periods in before the rains came, and for the second night in a row there will be tarps covering the grass at Chuck Noll Field.
"We got a bulk of the work in before the weather shut us down," said Tomlin. "We're not really going to lose a lot of sleep over that. There will be plenty of opportunities for these guys to get better and prove themselves. I like the work we were able to get done out there in a lot of facets.
"Technology is an asset to us today, with Doppler, and people have it on phones and so forth," said Tomlin about the tools the Steelers use to deal with enclement weather. "It paints a pretty clear picture, not only in terms of what the structure of the storms looks like and how big they are, but how far they are away. It's a big time tool for us. It'd be interesting to see how they did it 40, 50 years ago."
If the Steelers truly are entering a different phase of this training camp starting tomorrow, some of the groundwork for that was laid during these first two days on the practice fields. One of the competition periods on Saturday worked on "pressure pass," and one of them today was third-down related.
- On Saturday, it was Cody Wallace playing left guard with the first-unit in place of Ramon Foster, who has been excused because of a death in his family. On Sunday, it was Chris Hubbard. On the defensive line, rookies Stephon Tuitt and Daniel McCullers both were part of the second-unit. Dri Archer has been working as the No. 1 punt returner.
- In the backfield, it is LeGarrette Blount as the complement to Le'Veon Bell, and there is bound to be some buzz among the fans lining the practice fields tomorrow when the Steelers' new 250-pound back gets his hands on the ball during a live tackling drill.
"I thought he had a very good spring," said Tomlin about Blount. "He loves football and it shows. He's a hard worker, a lively guy. He likes the work associated with football and those are good things to bring to a team. We'll probably get a better assessment of his contributions tomorrow, when we tackle."
TOMLIN'S INJURY UPDATE
"On the injury front, David Snow does have a foot fracture. That's going to have to be surgically repaired, and that scheduling is tentative. We have several guys with little bumps and bruises associated with training camp and so forth. Martavis Bryant has got a groin injury. Le'Veon Bell didn't finish – he experienced a little tightness in his hamstring. We'll get that evaluated. C.J. Goodwin fell on his shoulder, and we'll take a look at that. Don't know how much time those guys will miss if any. Those are just kind of necessary things that go along with this time of the year."