After a big night in front of a huge crowd for the annual night practice event on Friday, today’s workouts started out without much drama or fanfare. That’s just the way Mike Tomlin would prefer it too. Even though he enjoys the event each year, he’s always been a coach that would rather leave the media out of it as much as possible, as well as all the pomp and circumstance that comes along with the festivities.
Drills today focused a lot on WR vs DB, including fade drills from the 20 yd. line. The team also worked on the famous goal line and short yardage drills too; see below.
Injury Updates: Ben Roethlisberger limped off just after the goal line drill started. According to Mike Prisuta: Redzone drills were going on before goal line drills. Ben threw a TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders. After that play he limped off to a golf cart, had some work done, pads came off and foot iced.
After a few minutes he was standing up watching the drills. He was not rushed off and it doesn’t appear to be serious. According to Tomlin after practice, Ben is fine, he just got his foot stepped on.
Other injury news from Chuck Finder at CBS Sports: With OG Willie Colon due 2 ankle Fri. Ramon Foster at LG & rookie David DeCastro handling RG capably. Vs. likes of Corbin Bryant, though. According to Bob Labriola, Colon’s injury isn’t considered this serious. Redman has a groin injury. Both suffered during night practice on Friday.
According to Tomlin in his post practice briefing: Brandon Johnson ankle injury. Colon was still out, Redman out as well. Both day to day.
David DeCastro has done a nice job representing himself. I wasn’t watching him directly today but we’ll watch it more tonight. Mike Adams did a nice job, he’s earned those snaps. He’s far from ready though.
In regards to how Emmanuel Sanders is doing: I don’t worry about health and when people are down. Sanders is a quality player, he’s healthy and doing a nice job.
Defense won the goal line.
John Clay is playing to his size. It’s one thing to be a big back, it’s another to play with that demeanor. He did a nice job in short yardage and goal line.
11 on 11 drills were also a focus of camp today, and both Mike Adams and David DeCastro were running with the first team. This was the first time in camp that the players were in full pads, in a real game situation for this drill. Chris Rainey continues to make a name for himself using his speed and quickness to turn the corner and run in for a touchdown. He may not be the biggest guy in the world, or the strongest, well let’s face he’s just not but that speed and agility can be a huge asset in the return game and 3rd down situations during the year. See Darren Sproles if you wonder otherwise.
Ike Taylor was bested a few times but also knocked away his share of passes; prompting his usual, emphatic, “incomplete” gesture. Overall the receivers showed up the DB’s more often than not, much to the dismay of a proud defensive unit, Coach Lebeau and Carnell Lake.
In return drills, Chris Rainey, Baron Batch, Jonathan Dwyer, and Marquis Maze all in the mix. With Antonio Brown not as likely to see the action he saw last year in this department, it opens the door for Rainey or another candidate.
Goal line drills: The defense won 4-3 according to most. John Clay got some serious air to score a TD. Big intensity, big hits, the crowd was enjoying it. Prisuta, “I had it 4-3 for sub-D over 1st O in goal line. TDs for Dwyer, Clay and a P-A pass Leftwich to Pope. Tomlin said D won. ”
Also according to JimWexell, the drill was uncharacteristically dull with so many second teamers in.
Before practice today, Mike Adams was asked how things are going in camp for him so far: “I feel good,” said Adams. “I have a great group of veteran offensive linemen around me helping me out. I am trying to get better every day. That is my main focus.
“My focus is getting better every day, coming out trying to fix the little things every day, the little technique things we have to work on. Nobody is perfect but we are working on it. It’s working on the technique and executing it.”
Among those who have been a big influence on him is tackle Max Starks.
“Having a guy like Max is priceless to my development,” said Adams. “He has been doing it for a long time at a high level and having him here is something I am grateful for.”
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