Another day at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp and another schedule change.
Wednesday’s practice was moved up from its normal 1:55 p.m to 10:30 a.m. again due to the possibility of inclement weather in the afternoon.
And the team doesn’t want to give up any time on the practice fields of St. Vincent College as the Steelers are looking at their first preseason game of the 2022-23 season Saturday at Acrisure Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks.
“It was another day for us to be light on our feet,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “Obviously, our preference is to work in the afternoon, we just enjoy working in the heat of the day. But work is the priority. So, it is good to get out in front with Doppler. I like the guys’ ability to be light on their feet. To turn it up and they did that. I just love the energy that we are getting from them and the competition. There is some ebb and flow obviously, but that’s part of this process this time of year. We are introducing them to some situational ball as we prepare to go into a stadium this weekend. We finished with the two-minute (drills) today. We will just continue to stack our chips in that regard and in an effort to gain some preparedness and to further get to know those guys.”
And Tomlin appreciates what training camp can do to prep the Steelers for their game Saturday. He is aware that nothing replicates stepping into the stadium, but that should not overshadow what can be taught in the interim.
“We appreciate the plays being made out here, but really this sets the stage for what happens in the stadium,” he said. “So, that is our focus as we start to lean in on the weekend. Friday we will start to establish some depth in terms of who is playing and the division of labor for the weekend. We just like to stay where we are right now, if we start leaning toward the weekend too much, we don’t take advantage of the opportunities that are Wednesday and Thursday.”
Wednesday saw a lot of situational drills, like the two-minute and end zone drills, that featured the cadre of receivers the team currently sports.
“As you guys can see, we got a bunch of different types of receivers,” Tomlin said. “Tall guys, small guys with great stop and go. Often times, those skillsets dictate the nature of the matchup. We were working in the red zone (on Tuesday), and we focused on a lot of jump balls to the bigger bodied guys. If you look at people working in the slot, you will see guys like (Tyler Snead, Calvin Austin and Gunner Olszewski), guys with great stop and go, trying to lean on those skills. A lot of the work, it is the same cast of characters, but there is a different emphasis based on the skillset for the people involved.”
One receiver who has received attention this camp both from coaches and the media is rookie wideout George Pickens. And he is also on Tomlin’s radar.
“He has got talent, but there is a difference between talent and skill,” Tomlin said. “And that is what we are trying to educate him and others regarding. God gives them the talent; we develop the skill in settings like this relative to the positions they play.”