Monday, July 30, 2012

Training Camp Practices Heat Up - Football Is Back

I love the smell of steel in the morning. Smells like...victory. 

The intensity is picking up in Latrobe. There had already been a minor scuffle with Willie Colon on Saturday, a good sign as far as I'm concerned. A little fire never hurt. Colon started a tussle as he blocked Timmons up the field. When asked what Colon was upset about, head coach Mike Tomlin responded, "Life."

All-in-all, Tomlin didn't seem to mind either. "I like the energy and enthusaism. We'll continue to clean up some of the professionalism...that's all part of it."

Well, that fire was stoked Sunday and the energy and enthusiasm picked up as Kelvin Beachum and Cameron Heyward got into a scuffle. Supposedly, it was fairly tame, but it's exciting and encouraging nonetheless. Football is back!

Before I go any further, I have to give a thankful shout out to Steelers beat reporters and other Steelers media members Ed Bouchette, Ken Laird, Mark Kaboly, Bob Labriola, David Todd (@hammerspeaks) Chris Adamski (@BuzzsawPGH) and Chuck Finder (@CBSSportsNFLPIT) for being on top of the goings on in Camp. They keep us bloggers happy!

Getting back to the hits, collisions and fights... Timmons apparently blasted Johnson at fullback and then blew up the play. Corbin Bryant also destroyed DeCastro on a play-welcome to the NFL, David. David Todd remarked that "Woodley [is] an absolute beast. Just dominated DJ 3 times in a row. So strong & quick." Though I love reading that, it is David Johnson after all. Even so, it may be a good sign for Woodley. 

Even former Steeler nose tackle Chris Hoke recognized the heightened levels of intensity as he indicated somewhat ebulliently on his Twitter page: “@hokiebro76: First time I watched backs on backers one on one drill... Great collisions!! Redman looked good and so did Sly Stevenson (Stevenson Sylvester)!” 

He wasn't the only one to recognize Redman. Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said that Redzone is taking leadership role seriously. He said that Redman makes Chris Rainey do a drill over again if he sees that Rainey's just going through the motions. 

One player who really impressed was Chris Carter. His name was mentioned a lot and he even got "huge props from Tomlin & defense for huge hit," according to David Todd. 

He later said of him that he was the "most impressive player from what I saw today. Impossible to see everything." As I pointed out in a previous blog, he has to step up this year and prove his worth. With Jason Worilds out for two to four weeks recovering from his wrist surgery, he'll have his chance early. After Sunday's showing, as well as bulking up to approximately 246 pounds in the offseason, he seems to be taking that chance seriously. 

Bob Labriola also chimed in with his own assessment saying, "TEs vs LBs: looking good were LBs Chris Carter and rookie Adrian Robinson; Woodley dominated; TE Jamie McCoy held his own for the offense."

I know it's only the third day of Training Camp, but it's been six months without football. I have the right to be excited. 


TIDBITS: Emmanuel Sanders didn't practice Sunday. Mike Tomlin said it was precautionary. The workout was on a turf field due to heavy rains recently. He's fine.

With Heath Miller out with an ankle injury, Wes Saunders was "by far best TE in the live TE-LB drill," per both Kaboly and Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib). 

Kaboly pointed out that Jonathan Dwyer "looks good" when asked about his conditioning. 

Cornerback Keenan Lewis was out with a right shoulder injury, "an AC-joint sprain during Sunday's practice. No specific prognosis yet, but he could miss some days," per Bob Labriola.