LATROBE, Pa. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp:
The Steelers safeties were active and feisty during the practice in which the offenses worked on the no-huddle attack for the first time at training camp. Shamarko Thomas knocked over Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey when the latter tried to block on a wide-receiver screen. Thomas also delivered several hard hits on running plays even when the Steelers weren’t tackling. Jordan Dangerfield, meanwhile, continued to draw attention to himself in a good way. Dangerfield, who spent last training camp and preseason with the Bills, intercepted a pass during a 3-on-3 tackling drill and twice brought down running back Miguel Maysonet with jarring tackles.
Maysonet, who signed a futures contract with the Steelers last January, has to be sore after getting extensive work -- and absorbing his share of shots -- with Le'Veon Bell limited because of hamstring stiffness and LeGarrette Blount not practicing. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he held Blount out of drills so younger backs like Maysonet could get more work. “I want to give those guys opportunities. They’re taking advantage of it.”
The Steelers are a little beat up at tight end. Eric Waters, who signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent, hurt his lower back and left the practice fields on a cart. Rob Blanchflower, a seventh-round pick in May, watched practice with his left foot in a boot after sustaining a high-ankle sprain on Wednesday. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey left practice Thursday with an undisclosed injury Tomlin said. Heyward-Bey appeared to take a knee to the helmet during a passing drill and he was noticeably wobbly after eventually getting up with the help of trainers.
Assistant equipment manager Pat Noone had one of the hazards of the job run into him. Noone, who stands in as the quarterback when the linemen go mano a mano during a pass rushing drill, got swallowed up by Stephon Tuitt after the rookie defensive end couldn’t stop while chasing Noone. The hit left Noone with a cut on his knee but didn’t stop him from laughing it off. Tuitt, meanwhile, is drawing attention for the strong start he is off to, the misstep in the pass-rushing drill notwithstanding. “He’s doing well,” Tomlin said. “He’s highly conditioned, he’s chasing the ball. He’s developing the skill associated with the position. He’s got a ways to go, they all do. But I like his attitude and approach to it.”
Offensive tackle Mike Adams has struggled during the first week of camp. Adams, who got bowled over by rookie nose tackle Daniel McCullers on Wednesday, allowed rookie outside linebacker Howard Jones to run right past him in a pass rushing drill. Adams has been alternating practices when it comes to playing left and right tackle, and the third-year man needs to pick up his play.