If there is one given that fans can expect to hear from NFL Training Camps its’ that there will be injuries. The Eagles, Ravens and Cowboys can attest to that. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, there have been thankfully, no serious injuries to this point in camp and we all hope it stays that way.
The one area that right now has the Steelers and the fan base concerned is at cornerback. Three different cornerbacks, including starter Cortez Allen have been sidelined with injuries that at this time are not considered major. While Allen has had some knee ‘discomfort,’ Demarcus Van Dyke has a very testy hamstring and rookie Terry Hawthorne is out as well.
Again, none of these are thought to be serious but Allen is another example of a number of guys who need all the reps of they can get. I like Allen replacing Keenan Lewis, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Sitting on the sideline while William Gay takes the spot he formerly held is not good for Allen nor for the majority of fans who aren’t real confident in Gay on the outside.
Other notes from camp… (Thanks to Ken Laird of Trib Live Radio, Chris from Bleacher Report and JoeSteelerFan for some solid information today)
*Today was the first day in full pads and it was clear the Steelers wanted to get a good look at running back Le’Veon Bell right away. He had the most reps of any of the backs during the backs on backers drill and worked with the first team during full team activities.
*Baron Batch struggled in the backs on backers drill today which isn’t a good sign. With Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Bell and LaRod Stephens-Howling the top four backs, Batch could be on the outside looking in at cut time.
*Tight end David Paulson has had really good camp so far catching the ball. He has had his way with defenders like Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones in the passing game but Worilds extracted a bit of revenge plowing over Paulson en route to the QB. That elicited some harsh words from head coach Mike Tomlin reported Ken Laird.
*Chris from Bleacher Report mentioned that Spaeth and Paulson are making a nice 1-2 combination at this point with Heath Miller still out.
*In news from after practice that will not surprise you, the NFL Network asked Ben Roethlisberger about the relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Ben replied with the same answers he had already given the day before.
*Linebackers’ Coach Keith Butler says he is very happy with the weight LaMarr Woodley is currently at and sees positive things from him in camp so far. Several fans tweeted me today saying they think he looks as good as he ever has.
*JoeSteelerFan reported that Tomlin spent a lot of time with the offensive line today. Also said DeCastro and Adams looked stout at point of attack.
*Joe also said he didn’t recognize Dwyer today. Lost a ton of ‘poundage.’
*According to Ken Laird, both Matt Spaeth and Will Johnson looked great in pass protection.
*Mike Tomlin spoke to the media on a number of subjects after practice today. Some of my favorite quotes are…
-On Bell working with the first team… “No significance but I’m sure you guys will run with it.”
-On Bell versus Jarvis Jones four times in backs on backers…. “It’s an easy match. I’m sure they’ll see more of each other.”
-On the running back situation…. “If somebody can distinguish themselves from the pack we’ll give him the ball. It’s got to be something that’s taken.”
Stay tuned for more coming tomorrow.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.