Art Rooney II Talks About Advantages Of Joint Training Camp Practices With Bills

It’s been roughly 20 years since the Pittsburgh Steelers last participated in joint practices with another team during training camp, but that will change this year when they host the Buffalo Bills for two practices at Saint Vincent College in the middle of August.

On Tuesday, Steelers team president Art Rooney II was asked about the advantages of participating in joint practices with another team during an interview with Bob Labriola on Steelers Nation Radio.

“Well, I think that the number one thing that it does is it gives your team the opportunity to compete against another opponent,” said Rooney. “And I think after a while the players get a little tired of going up against their own teammates. So it adds some intensity to what sometimes can be the drudgery of the third week of training camp.”

While the Steelers used to conduct joint practices with the Washington Redskins in the 1980s and 1990s, Rooney said that this will be the first time that the team has ever done back to back training camp practices with another team.

“That part will be interesting to see how it goes and it provides the players a fresh look at kind of a different opponent,” he said.

When the Bills visit Latrobe, they will bring with them several players that formerly played for the Steelers. That list of players includes Doug Legursky, Kraig Urbik, Corbin Bryant, Frank Summers, Dennis Dixon and Stevenson Sylvester, just to name a few. Rooney, however, looks forward to seeing the Bills first-round draft pick compete against the Steelers defense.

“It will be interesting to see [Bills wide receiver] Sammy Watkins up close and personal,” said Rooney. “So we’re looking forward to it and I think the fans will enjoy seeing a practice against another team.”

The Steelers second preseason game will also be against the Bills at Heinz Field on Aug. 16.

  • steeltown

    I think it’s a good idea, I like it

  • treeher

    And hopefully injury-free events.

  • I like what Mr. Rooney said about Watkins. I agree, will definitely be interesting to see how the secondary handles him.

  • Melly

    Who or what determines when each team reports?? Im assuming its the venue? Just curious cuz Pitt starts 3-4 days after a lot of teams!

  • Steelers@2010

    Dennis Dixon? I didn’t even know he was still in the league. Yes, I too agree with Mr. Rooney, it will be great for the young team to get some reps against another opponent.

  • joed32

    Usually it’s 14 days between the 1st full practice and the 1st preseason game. Some of these teams play their 1st game on Thursday while the Steelers play their 1st on Saturday the 9th. The Bills and Giants play on Sunday the 3rd in the HOF game.