Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on schedule, Jaylen & more

Staying on schedule: The third preseason game is traditionally the one that most closely resembles a regular season game, with the starters normally playing a half. So to keep things consistent with that regular season feel, the Steelers practice schedule this week has mimicked what it is in the regular season to help the players prepare.

"It mocks a regular season process from a preparation standpoint in a lot of ways," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We're back here in the comforts of our facility. Our daily schedule mimics what it's like in terms of how we go through our work week. We did some more extensive game-planning and utilization of people in regards to their skillsets. We're still very much in the evaluation process of all of the guys, but there will be selected things in terms of asking people things to do relative to their skillsets in a game-plan like way."

Keeping consistent: Rookie fifth-round pick Jaylen Samuels, a running back from North Carolina State, has been turning some heads in practice and the preseason, and his coach has also taken notice of what he can do in different areas, from the running game to the passing game.

"I think he is increasingly getting more consistent in terms of what we expect from him," said Tomlin. "He's got a skill set that is good in some areas, that is varsity and is consistently varsity. Some areas in his game he has to continue to grow. He is finding more consistency in those areas that he needs to grow, as he should. We'll just continue to take him through the process.

"I like his overall attitude in terms of the challenges we are presenting to him and in terms of areas of his game that he needs to work. He caught a lot of balls and he was a third-down back like guy at NC State. We are challenging him in some other ways that may be new to him."

The Steelers prepare for the Week 3 preseason matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

No peeking: The Steelers have installed a retractable tarp 'wall' at one end of their practice field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, blocking the view of practice for anyone in newly constructed offices just behind the goalposts. Tomlin didn't specify if he made the request.

"I will leave that somewhat mystical," said Tomlin. "I will let you guys hypothesize about the origins of that and its use. At some point we'll address it directly. It will be the 2018 little side story."

Tomlin did say changing times calls for such things to take place.

"You know how it is," said Tomlin. "This is interesting times, drones and so forth. We do what we've got to do to prepare and be ready to play, and play on a level, fair, competitive playing field."