Friday night marked the annual Friday Night Lights practice for the Pittsburgh Steelers at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. A huge crowd was reportedly on hand and received a treat as Aaron Smith, Willie Parker, Marvel Smith and Joey Porter and were all honored with a retirement ceremony prior to practice starting.
Porter was interviewed on SiriusXM NFL Radio and said that he hopes to get into coaching now that he has retired.
Not practicing were John Clay (groin), Jeremy Kapinos (back), Emmanuel Sanders (undisclosed) and Brett Keisel (undisclosed). LaMarr Woodley (undisclosed) reportedly went through the stretching period, but did not do much of anything else when it came to the team portion.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said after practice that the new injuries were: Jimmy Young (rib cartilage), Willie Colon (minor ankle) and Isaac Redman (minor groin). All three will be further evaluated.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley broke out the garbage cans and competed with the four quarterbacks at trying to drop passes in them. Ben Roethlisberger reportedly sat out the team portion of practice so that the other quarterbacks could get more reps.
“There was no injury to Roethlisberger,” said Tomlin. “I just held him out. We had the same emphasis in the special category that we had yesterday. We wanted to get a look at Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch running the group.”
Several reports on Twitter indicated that rookie Toney Clemons is continuing to have problem with drops. He is, however, getting separation with that big frame of his. Derrick Williams also reportedly had a better practice. Juamorris Stewart, Marquis Maze, Tyler Beiler and Young reportedly continue to be inconsistent.
During the backs on backers drill, David Johnson and Baron Batch reportedly showed well. Tomlin said Johnson was the star of the period. “He\’s a stout, stout man,” said Tomlin. “He did an awesome job.”
Lawrence Timmons and Chris Carter both reportedly had good showings in the drill as well.
Cameron Heyward and Mike Adams got into it Friday night with Willie Colon serving as the third man in. Colon reportedly punched Heyward pretty hard in the facemask before everyone was separated. Tomlin was asked about the incident after practice and would not even give an answer. Sounds like he was unconcerned about it.
Leonard Pope reportedly received a rare carry out the fullback position Friday night. Both Batch and Chris Rainey received extensive work and both reportedly showed well.
Colon received a scare after Ramon Foster blocked a man into his legs and that is how he rolled up his ankle. Foster then received work at left guard after that and David DeCastro then worked at right guard. Adams reportedly got a lot of reps as the starting left tackle, so that is good to hear. Maurkice Pouncey and Steve McLendon reportedly had some nice battles during the lineman drills, according to Twitter.
Both Shaun Suisham and Danny Hrapmann kicked well in the early portion of practice. Rainey and Clemons continue to get reps as a punt returner and punter Drew Butler is still reportedly inconsistent.