LATROBE, Pa. - It's been almost three weeks since the Steelers reported to Saint Vincent College for training camp, and cornerback Ike Taylor likes what he has seen so far.
"I have seen real good progress, a lot of guys that played last year it's their second year and they are a lot more comfortable," said Taylor. "It's going to take some time. We have a whole new group from last year to this year. We have a first round and second rounder that are going to come in and contribute and we understand that. Mistakes are going to be made."
Taylor is referring to linebacker Ryan Shazier and defensive end Stephon Tuitt, two players who could make an impact their first season with Shazier already penciled in as a starter. Taylor also sees how there has been speed added on defense, but knows that is only going to matter if it translates into game play.
"I am seeing it, but we have to get to it," said Taylor. "There is a difference between 40 speed and playing speed. We have to play fast every snap."
Taylor said he is enjoying the change of pace at practice this week with the team going against the Buffalo Bills for the second straight day on Thursday.
"This is totally different for me; scrimmaging another team in training camp," said Taylor. "Just doing something different. I knew they did it a couple of years before I came."
It's not often that a young players is in training camp without any competition, but don't think for a second the fact that punter Brad Wing has nobody going against him right now that he is a shoe-in for the spot. And he understands that.
Punter Adam Podlesh was placed on the Reserved/Did Not Report List earlier this week because of family obligations. That has left Wing, a first-year punter from LSU, as the only punter in camp.
Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers practicing with the Buffalo Bills on the 14th day of Training Camp.
"I want to get more experience, more reps because I am a young player," said Wing. "I just need consistency. I need to go out every day and improve and earn the trust from the coaches so they can trust me on fourth down, that I can go out there and do it. The experience is good getting the reps."
Wing punted against the New York Giants in the preseason opener, with a long of 51-yards but also had just a 21-yard effort. His hang time, though, was decent but he knows there is work to be done.
"Hang time is something I have really been focusing on," said Wing. "It's something the coaches have wanted to see. I think it was a good start, but there is room for improvement.
"While there were some negatives there were some positives I took from it so it was a good experience for me."