The Pittsburgh Steelers are almost halfway through with training camp and the Monday practice featured the team back in shorts after several days of wearing the pads. Head coach Mike Tomlin said the decision to get out of pads was an effort to let the team get healthier as they will also have Tuesday off. Below is your recap of the internet nuggets floating around the internets from day eleven at Latrobe.
According to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider on Twitter, not practicing on Monday were Troy Polamalu (birth certificate), Curtis McNeal (unknown), Plaxico Burress (unknown), Ross Ventrone (unknown), Terry Hawthorne (knee), Jarvis Jones (unknown), DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring), Cortez Allen (knee), Steve McLendon (unknown), LaRod Stephens-Howling (knee) and Lawrence Timmons (personal).
The Steelers did get a few players back on Monday, however, as nose tackle Alameda Ta\’amu (hamstring) practiced for the first time after he was activated off the PUP list. Also returning to practice were tight end Matt Spaeth (knee), defensive end Nick Williams (knee) and linebacker Larry Foote (unknown).
The Steelers lost yet another cornerback on Monday as Curtis Brown (ankle) was removed from the field on a cart after suffering an ankle injury. Brown was on crutches after practice, so it is safe to assume that he will miss at least a few days and will likely sit out the preseason opener against the New York Giants on Saturday. If my math is correct, the Steelers only have six healthy cornerbacks on their 90 man roster right now and that means they will likely need to add another one or two on Tuesday or Wednesday. Want something to look forward to? You will get to see Josh Victorian, Isaiah Green, Ryan Steed and Buddy Jackson play a ton of snaps against the Giants. Both Steed and Jackson weren\’t even on the team when training camp started. The New York Jets waived Eric Crocker on Monday, so that could be a name to watch for.
According to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mike Adams continued to work exclusively at left tackle on Monday. That makes four straight practices now since he and Marcus Gilbert switched sides. Offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. told Mike Prisuta of DVE Radio recently that we shouldn\’t read too much into the flipping of sides, but I am afraid that his advice will fall on deaf ears. Also according to Kaboly, tight end David Paulson is continuing to have a nice camp and kicker Shaun Suisham hit a 59-yard field goal during special teams drills. Where did that come from?
Prisuta reports that with both Polamalu and C. Brown on the sidelines the first-team defensive backs during the two-minute period were Ike Taylor, William Gay, Victorian, Ryan Clark and DaMon Cromartie-Smith. He says the coverage was good during the period despite a last-second touchdown. Prisuta goes on to say the offense scored twice out of three possessions that required them to go 38 yards in 45 seconds with only one timeout at their disposal. Ben Roethlisberger was 3-of-7 during his possession with a touchdown pass to Isaac Redman, who was covered by Foote on the play. Backup John Parker Wilson was 2-of-3 passing during his possession that ended with a touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton from 28 yards out.
Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer reports that defensive end Cameron Heyward is receiving praise for the improvement he\’s made during the offseason. Heyward figures to get around 500 snaps or so in 2013 which will roughly equal the amount of snaps he has played since being drafted. Lolley also reports that even though the team wasn\’t hitting on Monday, they were instead required to do a lot of running.
The Steelers will resume practice on Wednesday.