Today is final full day of practice before the team travels on Wednesday and plays the Eagles on Thursday night in the preseason opener. This practice will help determine the lineups to start as well as when the reserves will go in, Coach Tomlin addressed several topics in his last media session before the game on Thursday.
Starters will go 1-2 series a piece on both sides of the ball. no specific rep count yet. Depending on how injuries play out, the amount of time for them could change either way.
Injury updates and player status for Eagles game: Both Willie Colon and Cam Heyward have been ruled out for the game on Thursday according to Tomlin before practice on Tuesday. Ramon Foster will start at LG in place of Colon. Also on the offensive line front we’ll get our first chance to see both David DeCastro and Mike Adams starting at the same time, along with Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert.
Both DeCastro and Adams have worked very hard, having both good and not so good moments in camp. That’s part of the development. They’re smart young men who finish well. When asked if DeCastro and Adams are on a similar track as Maurkice Pouncey was in during his rookie year, Tomlin mentioned that they didn’t make a definite decision on Pouncey as the starter until about the 3rd preseason game. These young guys are on similar track but we’ll see how it goes.
Rashard Mendenhallspoke to Chuck Finder today, from CBS Sports saying: I’ll be back at some point this season, it’s just a matter of when. He’s still on the PUP and according to Kevin Colbert will likely remain there to start the year:
“If he’s doesn’t open on PUP for the first six weeks, I’d be surprised,” general manager Kevin Colbert told “Vinnie & Cook” on KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh.
Translation: Mendenhall will be on the physically unable to perform list.
The news is hardly a surprise, but this is the most public and blunt assessment we’ve heard yet. TheSteelers will rely on Isaac Redman throughout the first six weeks of the season, with Jonathan Dwyer,Chris Rainey, and John Clay still battling for backup spots.
Ben Roethlisberger: Tomlin confirmed today also that Ben will play one or two series against the Eagles. That has as much to do with the starters in general not seeing much action as it does with his ankle. Pretty much status quo if you ask me.
Jerrod Johnson will get significant reps in the 2nd half especially.
Chris Rainey will get his chance to start by returning kickoffs and punts. He could also see action in the ground game at some point. Marquis Maze and David Gilreath will also return kicks. We’ll have a better idea of who is stepping up after this first game on Thursday.
Wide Receivers: The 2nd tier guys at this positions have been inconsistent in camp so far according to Tomlin. Preseason is a significant step for those guys to see who is ready to seize the moment.
Casey Hampton is still a week to week evaluation, as is with all the guys on the PUP.
Be sure to catch our preseason offense and defense players to watch coming out on Wednesday and Thursday of this week!
Should any significant developments occur during practice on Tuesday we’ll update this thread accordingly.