Steelers Training Camp Day 12: What To Watch For

Back at training camp for the first post-game Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice of St. Vincent. I am assuming the intensity of practices will be way down from here on out, this is the final week, but there’s still plenty to watch for.


Is Landry Jones ready to go? Charlie Batch said Jones went through an intense workout pre-game so he’s gotta be close to a return.

You would expect a guy like Josh Dobbs to have a really strong finish to camp. To get into a stadium, manage the noise, command the offense, going back into sleepy Latrobe should be a cakewalk. So expectations raise these final few practices.

Running Back

Think it’s pretty clear Terrell Watson has jumped Brandon Brown-Dukes and Trey Williams (who I think was hurt and didn’t play Friday). So the focus is on Watson, who looks like a shoe-in for a practice squad spot right now. The next step, and it would be a HUGE leap, would be to push for a 53 man roster spot. Highly unlikely but hey, shoot for the stars.

Tight End

Jake McGee put on a show as a run blocker. In camp, he showed good hands and the ability to make contested grabs in coverage. Won’t make the 53 but he is a contender to push Phazahn Odom for their practice squad spot. Odom has to make some plays in the passing game.

Wide Receiver

I am assuming JuJu Smith-Schuster will not practice after suffering a concussion early in the game. We’ll see if Sammie Coates, who looked fluid in the last practice, comes off PUP.

The elephant in the room is seeing Martavis Bryant on the field. I’m sure it’ll be all positive in his performance. But boy, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. You know Ben Roethlisberger has been itching to throw a go ball to him.

Canaan Severin didn’t have a great game after stringing together a couple of solid practices leading up. He needs to, at the least, continue that hot streak in Latrobe to stay afloat.

Offensive Line

Injury front. We’ll see if Alejandro Villanueva returns.

Jerald Hawkins seemed to struggle Friday and really, all of camp. Maybe a short rest, getting to clear his head, will do him some good. At this point, he is definitely not the first tackle off the bench at either spot. That’s still Chris Hubbard.

Guys who got the short end of the snap stick Friday: Ethan Cooper and Jake Rodgers. Only a handful of snaps. That’s unlikely to change going forward, at least until the final game, so what they do in camp is even more important.

Defensive Line

That last statement about the third teamers can apply to the DL, too. Christian Brown and Francis Kallon didn’t see the field until the tail end of the game. Unfortunately for them, reps have been hard to come by in practice, too.

Elsewhere, I think this group is fairly settled in. Want to pay closer attention to Johnny Maxey, who seemed to have a good game at 2nd team RDE. Run defense was impressive.

Outside Linebacker

Who’s healthy? If there’s no status change here, you have to think the Steelers make a roster move. What is Bud Dupree’s status? Oddly on again, off again, which isn’t a comforting thought after what happened last camp. Also have Keion Adams (left shoulder) and Anthony Chickillo (hip) who missed the Giants’ game.

Inside Linebacker

Keith Kelsey and to a lesser extent, Matt Galambos had good performances Friday. Let’s see them continue to duke it out for a practice squad spot. Have to think only one will be kept.


Brian Allen continues to show improvement. Hope that carries over into practice as he looks to round out the edges. Brandon Dixon had a rough game and has to bounce back. Greg Ducre disappointingly didn’t play at all on defense, only logging three snaps on special teams. JaCorey Shepherd has apparently jumped him. When this group gets healthy, someone – Ducre – could get cut.

Speaking of health, of course, eyes glued on the status of Artie Burns, Cam Sutton, and Senquez Golson. My guess? None of the three practice today or tomorrow. But just a guess.


Not much going on here either. Health wise, we’ll check in on Mike Mitchell and Sean Davis. If they don’t go, more reps for Jacob Hagen, Terrish Webb, and Malik Golden, all three who seemed to hold their own in-game.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Ace

    Excited to see read your reports on Marty McFly. Man I hope he doesn’t pull up with a hammy. Seems like these guys that have the long layoffs always tweak or pull something right off the bat. Sutton, Golson and JuJu are a bit of a concern to me, I can’t imagine any of them will practice til later this week. Conner must be very close yeah? Most worrisome of all tho has to be Bud. Hasn’t he missed like 5 or 6 practices now? What is going on with him. They were very hush hush last year and look how far that went. Dude is challenging Shazier for the most injury prone.

  • falconsaftey43

    Hope some of these injured guys can get back out there. Burns, Dupree, Shazier, Mitchel, Davis. That’s 5 defensive starters who haven’t been practicing due to some sort of injury.

  • Jim Foles

    Hopefully Juju passes the concussion test quickly.. Hope he was only seeing small stars and not large planets when he got hit.

  • Jaybird

    Alex , do you think that TJ playing left OLB so much against the G Men could possible be due to a much worse injury to Dupree than we know about and that he may be out for a while? Maybe the plan is to have Watt play LOLB and James H man ROLB until Dupree gets healthy?
    Or am I just bored and paranoid and coming up with conspiracy theories!

  • Jaybird

    Ace read my post above on my Dupree theory . What do you think?

  • Alex Kozora

    Well, I don’t think there’s a correlation for 2 reasons.

    1. He’s flipped and played some LOLB in camp. It wasn’t something that happened the final day. I think he started getting time there on Day 2 of camp.

    2. There were only 3 LBs. So guys had to mix and match.

    That said, Dupree’s situation is weird. Hurt, came back, and then missed the back half of practice last week. Then doesn’t play. So my fingers are crossed.

  • falconsaftey43

    Watching game for the 5th time because I have nothing better to do. I really liked what Coty Sensabaugh did. Stayed with his man well, picked up guys coming in and out of his zone well. Physical setting edge vs. the run.

    Best single play I saw from a fringe guy, 3rd quarter Steelers kick off, McGee ran over two guys. Dude is physical. I think he’s the favorite for the PS TE.

  • Jaybird


  • Jaybird

    Lol , my wife was harping on me because I watched the game a third time!

  • SilverSteel

    Good to hear about Sensi. CB battle is interesting this year for sure.

  • Jim Foles

    McGee should be replacing DJ.. Just because…

  • Ace

    That thought crossed my mind reading the post earlier on Watt moving around. I think you may be onto something here. Maybe Dupree is set to miss more time than we all thought at first. Why the heck do they hide his injuries so much? I know they did that same thing last year with Tomlin being very discreet. I’m very worried about this.

  • Ace

    I’m all for resting the starters, no need to have those core guys flying around when they are already where they need to be physically. But it sure would be nice if the fans knew whether they were healthy or not. Is there some rule against having guys sit out practice without an injury reason or something? Seems like if the coaches want to rest them they should be allowed to at their own discretion. Having all those guys falcon listed below sitting out is kind of scary.

  • falconsaftey43

    I hate this TE group. I really hope someone takes a huge step this year, but I’m not hopeful.

  • Michael James

    I thought the same thing after reading the latest roster-predictions: the TE position on this roster really is in a bad state

  • Hagen Rinde

    would be nice if Conner starts practicing some day.. The RB group is not looking good in my eyes…

  • Jaybird

    If Dupree is out again today I’ll be very concerned . Does anyone even know what the ailment is ? Shoulder, knee , groin again???? Is it upper or lower body?

  • Rob H

    I tend to believe (hope) that Bud and all the other people being held out is just a product of the injury problems in recent years. Why take a chance something minor becomes more? With Conner, you see him in pads, but no contact stuff that might set him back. Sutton, better to sacrifice a bit of the learning curve than have a hamstring injury recur and dog him all season, etc., etc. Better for anybody you hope to have contributing this year to miss camp time rather than make something worse, and/or go into the season with something dogging them.

  • Chuck Anderson

    Astronomically speaking, we should prefer even the largest planet, Juju-piter: it’s about 1/1000th the size of the sun.

    Rumor has it, whenever Cody Wallace hit the deck, he tended to see Uranus.

  • Jim Foles

    McGee hopefully plays more now. We really need a TE

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I thought Ducre was doing well till his injury.