2018 Steelers Training Camp – Day 1 Recap

The long-awaited Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp kicked off at 2:55 pm at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. As expected, droves of Steelers fans were in attendance, as the Steelers players took the field for their first official practice of the 2018 season. The storylines in this first session:  two camp rivals renewing their rivalry, a rookie living up his nickname, a much trimmer Big Ben, and the first serious injury of training camp.

So Steelers fans, let’s go!

Injury Report

Prior to the beginning of training camp, each player was required to pass their respective conditioning test. For NFL journeyman tackle Bryce Harris, his career as a Steeler came to an end as he was effectively released after failing his conditioning test. In his place, cornerback Malik Reaves was signed in his place. Reaves was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs but released last month.

As for recently re-signed receiver Eli Rogers, he opened training camp on the active PUP list, yet there are indications that he could return sooner than expected.

Lastly, the first true injury of training camp occurred late in today’s session, when undrafted free agent center Parker Collins was taken off on a cart after sustaining a knee injury. The severity of the injury is likely to be revealed in the upcoming days.


Training Camp Sights

Prior to the commencement of drills, the players and the fans alike were treated to a beautiful air show courtesy of the Blue Angels. (Photo courtesy of @TimotRice)

A noticeably muscled Ryan Shazier was in attendance, which uplifted the players and people in attendance. (Photo courtesy of @TimotRice)

Notes and Observations

  • Today’s installment of the ‘seven shots’ drill was won by the offense 4-3. Notable performers included cornerback Coty Sensabaugh, who broke up a pass intended for rookie second-round pick James Washington. Washington, in turn, responded by beating Sensabaugh for the winning touchdown.

  • All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown had an uncharacteristically off day. Reports noted that he had several drops, and at one point has a pass intended for him undercut by third-year cornerback and training camp rival Artie Burns Jr. Brown did, however, get the best of him later with a touchdown reception. At this point, no one figures this type of day will be a trend for Brown, as he is generally one of the best camp performers.
  • Third-year linebacker Tyler Matakevich started with the first team alongside Vince Williams. At this point, the impression is that he will be one of the starting linebacker.
  • The player that was given the most attention offensively was tight end, Vance MacDonald. According to several reports, MacDonalds was seen playing a slot in addition to tight end. By all accounts, he is on his way to becoming the premier tight end on the roster.
  • Third-year defensive back Sean Davis played the majority of his repetitions at free safety, with veteran defensive back Morgan Burnett playing at strong safety.
  • The Steelers fifth-round selection Jaylen Samuels demonstrated why he was given the “swiss army knife”. In today’ session, he was seen taking repetitions at the slot receiver and running back. There are very few positions Samuels cannot play and by all accounts, his versatility was well on display today.
  • Rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph had a rollercoaster day. To start, he was listed as the fourth quarterback behind Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs. According to reports, Rudolph did not get much of an opportunity to throw during team drills. When given the opportunity, he miscued at first but quickly redeemed himself with a completion to undrafted receiver Damoun Patterson.
  • Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was looking visibly trimmer at training camp. When asked by ESPN senior NFL writer Jeremy Fowler, Roethlisberger talked openly on his diet which included cutting out “sugar and carbs”.


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