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2018 Steelers Training Camp – Day 8 Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted their annual “Friday Night Lights” practice in front of a capacity crowd of at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. This event is generally considered the highlight of training camp, as it brings an excitement and electricity the players feed off from the moment they step onto the field.

This evening’s storylines include a running back who is emerging as the best overall performer in camp, a receiver who continues to make difficult catches seem easy, and a newly signed player that did not wait for an invitation to make an impression.

So Steelers fans, let’s go!

Injury Report

The newest addition to the injury squad was receiver Marcus Tucker, who did not partake in Friday’s session due to an ankle injury sustained in the previous session, as observed by “Locked on Steelers” host Tony Serino. All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown did not partake in tonight’s event, neither did outside linebacker TJ Watt (hamstring), defensive tackle LT Walton (undisclosed) and tight end Vance McDonald (foot).

As confirmed by DKPittsburghSports reporter Dale Lolley, a few veteran players were given the night off, these players included quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, and center Maurkice Pouncey. Veteran guard Ramon Foster was in attendance sporting a knee brace as observed by Pittsburgh Tribune writer Joe Rutter.

Tackle Alejandro Villanueva who missed the last session with a shoulder injury, returned to the field, as did safeties Morgan Burnett and Sean Davis; both active participants in both the individual and team drills. Outside linebacker Bud Dupree left practice early and was placed in concussion protocol as noted by Lolley. Finally, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey left practice early with back-related issues as reported by Rutter, as well cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (unknown) and rookie offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor (shoulder).

News and Notes

  • For the seventh time in this training camp, the defense was victorious in the ‘seven shots’ drill, 4 – 3 as reported by Mike Prisuta of Steelers.com
  • Rookie receiver James Washington continues to display his ability to make difficult combat catches. His latest victim was cornerback Artie Burns Jr., as detailed by GZSportsReport co-founder and contributor Zach Metkler.

  • Speaking of receivers, Damoun Patterson was back on track today. After drops in consecutive practice sessions, Patterson redeemed himself on this play as described by DKPittsburghSports reporter Christopher Carter. With Patterson and fellow free agent receiver Tevin Jones continuing to impress, Tucker is dangerously close to being an afterthought if his injury keeps him out for an extended period of time.

  • The current group of secondaries has been proven to be one of the deepest in a long time. With all the talk of Terrell Edmunds and Cameron Sutton, one name that rising quickly within this group is Dashaun Phillips. Phillips physicality and aggressiveness against the run, has drawn the attention of the Steelers coaches.
  • Undrafted free agent linebacker Matthew Thomas continues to impress in the ‘backs on backers’ drill. By all accounts, his natural abilities shine through in this drill.

  • Fresh from being signed yesterday, tight end Bucky Hodges did not waste time inserting himself in the offense, as described here by Metkler. Hodges size and athleticism were well documented from his college days with Virginia Tech and makes him an intriguing prospect to follow.

  • Today’s top performer – running back James Conner: Conner came into this year’s camp with two very important things; a new body and a new mindset. Conner has proven to be one of the most consistent performers in camp, arguably the best overall performer. Tonight’s session was his most impressive showing to date. DKPittsburghSports reporter Christopher Carter detailed various instances of his dominant performance.

 

Friday Night Lights Photos

From Steelers.com

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