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2012 Steelers training camp fan guide: What you need to know for Latrobe

Training camp St. Vincent College in Latrobe has been a staple for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last 47 years. If you’re a fan you owe it to yourself to attend a day at camp. If you’ve been there before then you know what a great time it is. If you’ve never been, there’s no better time than this season! Players report on July 25th, and first day that fans can attend is Friday July, 27.

With so many battles ahead for starting positions and key backup roles, a new offense under Todd Haley, and a hungry Steelers team who felt like they could have gone further in 2011, there is much to be excited about for the Steeler Nation.

There’s so many things to do at camp that we thought we’d put together a fan guide, especially helpful for those who aren’t regulars to Latrobe each year but also a refresher for those that make the annual trek. Feel free to print this article if you like, or if you have a smart phone just hit us up while you’re there and you’ll have all the info you need, on the go.  In this guide you’ll find everything from directions to St. Vincent as well as Latrobe High School (annual night practice), places of interest, restaurants, hotels, fan basics, media coverage, and of course a recap of our Steelers 2012 Training Camp Roster Throwdowns…so here we go!

Schedule for camp this year: (always subject to change due to weather or team decisions even at the last minute):

Wednesday July 25 Rookies and Veterans report by 4 p.m.
Thursday July 26 2:55 p.m.; campus closed to public
Friday July 27 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Saturday July 28 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Sunday July 29 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Monday July 30 Players Day Off – campus closed to public
Tuesday July 31 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Wednesday Aug. 1 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Thursday Aug. 2 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Friday Aug. 3 7 p.m. Night Practice at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium — (No UPMC Steelers Experience)
Saturday Aug. 4 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Sunday Aug. 5 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Monday Aug. 6 Players Day Off – campus closed to public
Tuesday Aug. 7 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Wednesday Aug. 8 Travel to Philadelphia – campus closed to public
Thursday Aug. 9 First Preseason Game at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m., KDKA-TV)
Friday Aug. 10 Players Day Off – campus closed to public
Saturday Aug. 11 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Sunday Aug. 12 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Monday Aug. 13 Players Day Off – campus closed to public
Tuesday Aug. 14 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Wednesday Aug. 15 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Thursday Aug. 16 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Friday Aug. 17 2:55 p.m. and open to public (UPMC Steelers Experience, 1:30-6 p.m.)
Saturday Aug. 18 Campus closed to public
Sunday Aug. 19 Second Preseason Game vs. Indianapolis (8 p.m., NBC/WPXI-TV)
Saturday Aug. 25 Third Preseason Game at Buffalo (7 p.m., KDKA-TV)
Thursday Aug. 30 Fourth Preseason Game vs. Carolina (7 p.m., KDKA-TV)

 

 

Directions to camp: Click here to see directions from all points heading into Latrobe. If you’ve never been there it’s pretty easy to find although you’ll think you’ve entered the back woods of no return for awhile but it’s a nice scenic drive once you get off the PA turnpike.

The address for the night practice in Latrobe is Latrobe Memorial Stadium Chestnut St, Latrobe, PA, 15650 the link will take you too Google maps for the area, you map your route accordingly.

The night practice is a great time to see the players at camp. It’s in the evening so it’s not as blazing hot as it is during the day at the college. That’s reason enough right there if you ask me. Also the players love it because the stands at the field are filled with fans, the fence around the field is lined with the Steeler Nation and you get a real good, close up view of the practices. The players come out and sign before camp starts and sometimes afterwards as well. They’ll lineup around the inside of the field and make their way around, hitting as many autograph seekers as they can.

You’ll want to get there early because parking in and around the school is a bit of a nightmare simply because so many people are jamming the streets all fighting for the same spots you are. Be advised there is an admission fee to see the night practice, usually about $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for kids under 18. There are also food vendors there, Steelers merchandise, and more.

Some basics of training camp:  You can bring coolers with water and snacks, fold out chairs/blankets, and of course sun screen because you’re out in the sun most of the day. There are some shade trees especially near the entrance to the dorms where the players come out but nonetheless it’s still hot. Don’t forget your camera, but no video is allowed. If you take pictures, please feel free to send them to us, we’d love to see them! Simply shoot us an email at info@steeleraddicts.com.

You can arrive up to 2 hours early to get your best view of the players. There are 4 fields that the team practices on and you can sit on all 4 sides, one of which has bleachers if that’s your preference.

The Steelers experience is there most days where you can run the 40 yd dash, punt, pass, kick, see a mockup of a locker inside Heinz Field for pictures, and more. It’s always a good time for adults and kids. The team merchandise tent is full of just about anything you could want in black ‘n gold gear, clothing, and what have you. Also the traveling Coca Cola Great Hall l is usually there as well, although with Pepsi now being the new sponsor we’ll have to see what they call it.

Media: The Steelers reporters for both the Post Gazette and Tribune Review do a great job of tweeting out updates all during camp. If you’re on twitter, some key names to follow (and I might suggest making a Twitter list for quick reference): SteelerAddictsEd Bouchette, Jim Wexell, Ken Laird, Chuck Finder, Scott Brown, Guy Junker, Jerry DiPaola, and Mark Kaboly. For a full listing of media coverage be sure to check out our Steelers players and media  twitter accounts.

Autographs: For most fans the best part about camp is getting player autographs and pictures. If you get there early you can lineup along the fence line from the dorms all the way down the fields to try and land your favorite players signature. Players will not usually sign before camp starts but afterwards is when you’ll get your chances. Ben Roethlisberger for example will usually go down one side of the line and high five the fans as he goes by to start practice.

It’s all up to the players how long they will sign or if they’ll sign at all. Sometimes they just don’t feel like, and yelling at them won’t help. They’re tired, hot, and sometimes frustrated if it was a tough day. You’ll almost always get some of the players to sign though but it’s purely luck of the draw of who you’ll get on any particular day. I can tell you from experience that Ryan Clark will almost always sign for awhile and he usually gives out his gloves to a young fan, sometimes his cleats too. Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger will usually sign too. Hines Ward would almost always sign but alas, the man of steel is retired. Mike Tomlin will often sign for awhile near the tents at the base where the trainers are.

Be sure to bring your favorite terrible towel, pennant, mini helmet, picture, or whatever you like. It’s also advisable to bring your own sharpie although you can purchase them there as well.

Each year the team has family day too for the players; where their families can come visit them for awhile. If you’re unlucky enough to attend this day don’t expect many autographs as the players just want to get in and hang out with their loved ones. That day varies so keep an eye on the local media and SteelerAddicts Twitter for updates. You still get a great practice to watch though so it’s not a total wash.

Food and Lodging: The town of Latrobe and St. Vincent College love having the Steelers come to camp each year and the local economy loves it too. There’s a plethora of restaurants and hotels available.

Some local favorites that I’ve always enjoyed:  Bella Pasta Italian Restaurante, Gino’s Pizza, & Dino’s Sports Lounge. You’ve also got your basic Denny’s,  Chinese food, Eat’n Park, Taco Bell, Subway, etc. Get a full listing here.

As far as lodging goes, you’ve got places such as Wyngate, Edgewater Hotel, Quality Hotel Gateway, and more.Check here for a full listing of locations, rates, and booking.

Now on to the good stuff; things to watch for while you’re sitting around the fields watching practice:

We’ve finished up our series on the 2012 Steelers Training Camp Roster Throwdowns: Here’s some highlights as the battles unfold in front you over the next several weeks.

Defensive Line: Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood will man the defensive end positions but the nose tackle spot is up for grabs. Does young veteran Steve McLendon win the job or will rookie 4th round pick Alameda Ta’amu make some noise and push McLendon for that spot?  Keep an eye on Casey Hampton as he continues to rehab from the torn ACL; he vows to be ready to start the season but that remains to be seen. Also watch for rookie free agent Ikponmwosa Igbinosun. He had a good showing in OTA’s and minicamps.Also second year lineman Cam Heyward looks to take the next step in his career and push Hood.

Linebackers: Both James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley will man their familiar outside spots. Lawrence Timmons will also be back in the middle. Larry Foote is penciled in as the starter opposite Timmons but watch for young players Stevenson Sylvester, Chris Carter, and rookie Sean Spence to get significant reps as well. It’s Foote’s job to lose but the battle behind him will be fun to watch. Keep your eye on free agent Brandon Johnson who came over from the Bengals; he’s a good special teamer and might push the younger players previously on the team.

Safties: This one may be pretty much set with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu as the starters, along with Ryan Mundy returning as the primary backup but keep you eye on Da-mon Cromartie Smith battling it out with Myron Rolle. Will Allen also figures into that mix and has a leg up on the youngsters due to his experience.

Running Backs: This one is going to be a blast to watch. Isaac Redman is penciled in to start as Rashard Mendenhall continues to rehap his torn ACL. Behind those two is a group of players who will fight it out with everything they’ve got to try and make the roster. Will John Clay make the cut or be a practice squad candidate again? Baron Batch battles it out with rookie Chris Rainey for the 3rd down back role vacated by Mewelde Moore. Look to see what kind of shape Jonathan Dwyer shows up to camp in; he’s got a great shot to land the primary backup spot behind Redman if he’s up to the task.

Quarterbacks: This one may not seem like something exciting to watch because we all know Big Ben will be back as the starter. Who wins the backup job though; is Charlie Batch or can oft injured Byron Leftwich steal it away? What about free agent Jerrod Johnson; he’ll have his chance but it’s a tough hill to climb against all that experience.

Tight Ends: Heath Miller will be back to start but there’s options behind him and a good battle to watch. Free agent from Kansas City Leonard Pope figures to win the primary backup role but don’t forget about Weslye Saunders. Even though he’s suspended for the first four games of the season he can still participate in training camp and preseason. Can he secure a roster spot away from 7th rounder David Paulson or practice squad player Jamie McCoy? The Steelers need good tight ends all around so watch this one.

Team Roster: Below is a listing of the full training camp roster at the start of camp.

 

# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College
76 Adams, Mike OT 6-7 323 22 R Ohio State
28 Allen, Cortez CB 6-1 196 23 2 The Citadel
26 Allen, Will S 6-1 200 30 9 Ohio State
49 Baker, Ryan LB 6-0 236 22 R LSU
20 Batch, Baron RB 5-10 210 24 2 Texas Tech
16 Batch, Charlie QB 6-2 216 37 15 Eastern Michigan
68 Beachum, Kelvin OG 6-3 303 23 R SMU
19 Beiler, Tyler WR 6-0 190 23 1 Bridgewater
66 Blanc, Mike DT 6-3 286 25 1 Auburn
84 Brown, Antonio WR 5-10 186 24 3 Central Michigan
31 Brown, Curtis DB 6-0 185 23 2 Texas
91 Bryant, Corbin DE 6-4 297 24 1 Northwestern
9 Butler, Drew P 6-1 204 23 R Georgia
54 Carter, Chris LB 6-1 248 23 2 Fresno State
35 Carter, Terry CB 5-10 184 24 R Louisiana Tech
25 Clark, Ryan FS 5-11 205 32 11 Louisiana State
38 Clay, John RB 6-1 248 24 1 Wisconsin
11 Clemons, Toney WR 6-2 210 23 R Colorado
74 Colon, Willie T 6-3 315 29 7 Hofstra
89 Cotchery, Jerricho WR 6-1 200 30 9 North Carolina State
42 Cromartie-Smith, Damon S 6-2 210 25 1 UTEP
66 DeCastro, David OG 6-5 316 22 R Stanford
27 Dwyer, Jonathan RB 5-11 229 22 3 Georgia Tech
79 Essex, Trai G 6-5 324 29 8 Northwestern
50 Foote, Larry LB 6-1 239 32 11 Michigan
73 Foster, Ramon G 6-6 325 26 4 Tennessee
37 Frederick, Terrence CB 5-10 187 22 R Texas A&M
41 Freeman, Andre CB 5-11 188 23 R Slippery Rock
77 Gilbert, Marcus T 6-6 330 24 2 Florida
18 Gilreath, David WR 5-10 169 23 1 Wisconsin
30 Golden, Robert S 5-11 202 21 R Arizona
98 Hampton, Casey NT 6-1 325 34 12 Texas
92 Harrison, James OLB 6-0 242 34 9 Kent State
97 Heyward, Cameron DE 6-5 288 23 2 Ohio State
44 Hicks, Brandon LB 6-2 228 23 1 Florida
96 Hood, Ziggy DE 6-3 300 25 4 Missouri
2 Hrapmann, Daniel K 5-9 164 23 R Southern Mississippi
69 Igbinosun, Ikponmwosa DE 6-4 288 21 R Southern Connecticut State
57 Ivy, Mortty LB 6-1 239 26 2 West Virginia
48 Johnson, Brandon LB 6-5 245 29 6 Louisville
85 Johnson, David TE 6-2 260 24 4 Arkansas State
8 Johnson, Jerrod QB 6-5 251 23 1 Texas A&M
46 Johnson, Will FB 6-2 238 22 1 West Virginia
61 Jolly, Kyle OT 6-6 300 25 2 North Carolina
13 Kapinos, Jeremy P 6-1 233 27 5 Penn State
49 Katula, Matt LS 6-6 265 29 7 Wisconsin
99 Keisel, Brett DE 6-5 285 33 11 Brigham Young
69 Lee, Ryan C/G 6-3 308 23 R Furman
4 Leftwich, Byron QB 6-5 250 32 10 Marshall
64 Legursky, Doug G 6-1 315 26 4 Marshall
23 Lewis, Keenan CB 6-0 208 26 4 Oregon State
62 Malecki, John OG 6-2 298 24 1 Pittsburgh
3 Maze, Marquis WR 5-8 186 23 R Alabama
80 McCoy, Jamie TE 6-3 240 25 1 Texas A&M
40 McFadden, Marshall LB 6-1 233 25 1 South Carolina State
39 McFadden, Walter DB 5-10 180 25 2 Auburn
90 McLendon, Steve DT 6-4 280 26 3 Troy
34 Mendenhall, Rashard RB 5-10 225 25 5 Illinois
83 Miller, Heath TE 6-5 256 29 8 Virginia
29 Mundy, Ryan FS 6-1 209 27 4 West Virginia
48 Paulson, David TE 6-4 246 23 R Oregon
43 Polamalu, Troy SS 5-10 207 31 10 USC
45 Pope, Leonard TE 6-8 264 28 7 Georgia
53 Pouncey, Maurkice C/G 6-4 304 22 3 Florida
22 Rainey, Chris RB 5-9 180 24 R Florida
33 Redman, Isaac RB 6-0 230 27 3 Bowie State
46 Robinson, Adrian LB 6-1 250 22 R Temple
7 Roethlisberger, Ben QB 6-5 241 30 9 Miami (Ohio)
47 Rolle, Myron S 6-2 215 25 1 Florida State
88 Sanders, Emmanuel WR 5-11 180 25 3 SMU
82 Saunders, Weslye TE 6-5 270 23 2 South Carolina
71 Scott, Chris OT 6-4 319 24 2 Tennessee
51 Spence, Sean LB 5-11 231 22 R Miami (FL)
78 Starks, Max T 6-8 345 30 8 Florida
87 Stewart, Juamorris WR 6-2 198 25 1 Southern
68 Stoller, Jake DE 6-3 284 22 R Yale
6 Suisham, Shaun K 6-0 200 30 8 Bowling Green State
55 Sylvester, Stevenson ILB 6-2 231 24 3 Utah
95 Ta’amu, Alameda NT 6-3 348 21 R Washington
24 Taylor, Ike CB 6-2 195 32 10 Louisiana-Lafayette
94 Timmons, Lawrence LB 6-1 234 26 6 Florida State
17 Wallace, Mike WR 6-0 199 25 4 Mississippi
60 Warren, Greg LS 6-3 252 30 8 North Carolina
67 Weston, Kade DT 6-5 315 25 2 Georgia
15 Williams, Derrick WR 5-11 197 26 3 Penn State
56 Woodley, LaMarr OLB 6-2 265 27 6 Michigan
65 Woods, Al DE 6-4 307 25 3 Louisiana State
93 Worilds, Jason OLB 6-2 262 24 3 Virginia Tech
14 Young, Jimmy WR 6-0 204 25 1 Texas Christian

 

There you have it, all the basics for this years Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. Be sure to stay tuned to SteelerAddics.com as we have daily updates of the happenings at camp and great Steelers talk in the forums!

 Training camp schedule & roster courtesy of Steelers.com. Other contributors include the Latrobe Chamber of Commerce, Google Maps, and various travel sites listed via the links in their respective sections.

The information provided comes personal experience of those at Steeler Addicts and others who have attended training camp before as well as reliable sources as stated above. Any info is subject to change at any time by the Steelers, St. Vincent College, or any party affiliated with the team or college.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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