Training camp is in full swing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It feels good to say that because that means the regular season is just around the corner. Now that camp is underway, stories and news will be pouring out. Here are few top headlines from the past few days of Steelers’ training camp.
Something that has been making some big headlines is that Steelers’ head coach, Mike Tomlin has join the social media world and has now got a Twitter account. You can follow coach Tomlin, @CoachTomlin and see what he has in store for the Twitterverse for this upcoming season.
Tomlin’s first tweet read, “Hello Twitter. Expect no BS from me. Just straight fire!”. This is such classic Tomlin and we can’t help but enjoy it. Tomlin’s recent interviews with the media have been “straight fire”as well. He used the word “appropriate” to describe Jonathan Dwyer’s recent loss of weight, the teams conditioning and the backs-on-backers drill of Le’veon Bell versus Jarvis Jones. More classic Tomlin to go along with his tweet. Steeler Nation is crossing their fingers for a “the standard is the standard” tweet.
All the running backs are making their case
One of the most exciting battles that Steelers’ training camp has to offer is that of the running backs. Only a few days in and the battle has been living up to it’s hype. Dwyer’s recent weight loss hasn’t gone unnoticed; he’s lost around 25-30lbs and it’s evident that his training in Florida during the offseason has paid off. One reporter for the NFL Network, who was at the Steelers’ training camp, said that this is the best Dwyer’s looked in his professional career.
The other running back that has made a positive start to training camp is Isaac Redman. Redman has been listed as the Steelers number one running back. This doesn’t mean a whole lot because all the backs will be getting their fair share of reps with the first teamers. Redman is well aware that he is playing for a possible contract extension and if he were to disappoint this season it could really harm his NFL career in general.
Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Redman was looking very impressive and explosive in the red zone. It’s encouraging to hear Redman is looking good in the red zone, the team needs a back that can pound the ball in when needed. If Redman can keep this up he just might win this running back rumble.
The third back that is making his case is the rookie, Le’Veon Bell. I believe that the starting job will go to this young man at some point. Even if it’s not this season, Bell was drafted for to be the go-to back of the future. Bell on Monday finished the practice taking 4 of 5 reps with the first team, carrying the ball 3 times.
Bell is a confident player and fully believes that he is capable of being the Steelers’ starting back. One main concern with Bell that could play a huge part in whether or not he gets the starting nod is if he is able to handle pass blocking. It’s going to be a challenge for the rookie and if the team’s smart, they’ll put him up against the likes of LaMarr Woodley to see what he can do against one of the teams best linebackers. If Bell is up to the challenge and can meet the expectations asked of him, I see him locking up the starting position.
An injury to keep an eye on
Not a whole lot of injuries have taken place for the Steelers, at least not any of the same caliber as the recent loss of Dennis Pitta for the Baltimore Ravens or Jeremy Maclin for the Philadelphia Eagles. However, one injury that is of some significance and should have an eye kept on it is the knee injury cornerback, Cortez Allen suffered. It’s being a considered a minor injury and hopefully won’t worsen. Coach Tomlin described the injury as some “discomfort” and “camp-like”. Allen being a cornerback could need to really step-up this season and be a key player for the defense.
Emmanuel Sanders is stepping his game up
The Steelers’ receiving core has been under a lot of fire ever since Mike Wallace left the team. One receiver in particular that’ll need to shine is Emmanuel Sanders. Recent reports are indicating that Sanders is meeting the challenge and has been impressive during the early stages of training camp. This is good news considering the Steelers chose to fight for Sanders during the offseason, not allowing him to go to the New England Patriots. I fully believe the only reason he didn’t end up on the Patriots is all due to any say Roethlisberger had. With that said, hopefully Roethlisberger’s say doesn’t go to waste and Sanders has a big year in 2013.
It’s still very early in training camp and so much can change in a hurry. It would appear the Steelers are off to a great start. The team needs to stay focused, work hard and do their best at preventing injuries. Stay tuned for more news from Steeler training camp.