Settling in: Quarterback Bryn Renner was thrown right into the fire last week against the Saints after being signed by the Steelers six days prior, but this week he is feeling much more comfortable with some time to learn the system and work with the receivers.
The Steelers prepare for the Week 4 preseason matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
"I am a lot more prepared," said Renner. "Not to say that I wasn't prepared the first game, but it was a whirlwind. Having those extra couple of days to catch up and to get up to speed a little bit more than the first week has definitely helped. Getting in the film room a little more, getting in the playbook, and we are game planning more this week."
Renner was one of the last players off the field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex following Tuesday's practice, getting extra reps with some of the young receivers.
"I am stealing every second, minute and hour I can," said Renner. "It's been long nights and early mornings trying to get acclimated. I am trying to get as many reps as possible."
Renner, who was released by the Chargers in May, was the quarterbacks coach for Austin Peay prior to the Steelers signing him, getting some work in throwing the ball in practice there but not like NFL action. Playing against the Panthers on Thursday night will be nothing but a benefit for him.
"It's huge," said Renner. "Last week was great to get in there and break the ice. To get in the huddle again. It's been a while. Getting in the huddle, getting the game speed, is different. The game speed is what it is at the NFL level. It doesn't change. It's like comparing it to baseball. If you don't see a 90 mile an hour fast ball for a while and one comes at you, you take a sack and that's what happened. I have to be better than that and that will happen this week."
First Take:** Ryan Clark hung up his cleats a few years and picked up the microphone for ESPN's First Take, but that doesn't mean the former Steelers safety hasn't been keeping a close eye on the black and gold.
Clark weighed in on his thoughts on the 2016 Steelers, from offensive playmakers, to rookies and everything in between.
On the offense:
"You look at this team offensively and we are expecting the 'B Brothers' to really light up the scoreboard," said Clark. "You have Ben (Roethlisberger), (Le'Veon) Bell, and (Antonio) Brown and we all know what they can do. But I think some people are underestimating what they can do. You look at Markus Wheaton and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. I think this team is still set to score upwards of 28-30 points a game."
On the defense:
"It's how do you integrate the new pieces on defense," said Clark. "I think Ryan Shazier is poised to be a star. You look at Artie Burns, the new corner, coming in and playing corner on this defense is hard. You look at guys that came in here in the past via the draft, Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor. They had time to develop. I don't think Pittsburgh has the time to wait for that. You get Sean Davis. If those guys can get acclimated to this defense and play well, I think the sky is the limit for this team and they have the opportunity to be Super Bowl champs."
Liking the look:Linebacker Ryan Shazier likes the look of the Steelers defense as they inch ever so close to the regular season opener against the Washington Redskins.
"I feel like we are doing real well," said Timmons. "I think we are going to be very successful. I am looking forward to our front seven dominating."