LATROBE, Pa. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp:
Martavis Bryant stood out during one of the final practices of training camp even if he did not appear to impress his head coach. The rookie wide receiver caught a pair of touchdown passes in the red-zone drill, and he punctuated his day -- and that of the Steelers -- by hauling in a short scoring grab on the final play of practice despite coverage by cornerback Ike Taylor and strong safety Troy Polamalu. Bryant’s day, which also included a sideline catch that required him to get both feet down quickly, came just four days after the fourth-round draft pick was erratic with ball-control issues in the Steelers’ 20-16 loss to the New York Giants. “He made a couple of plays today but we know that he’s capable of that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I’m looking for him to grow in all areas and have the type of detail in his work where we can rely upon him. Like a lot of young guys he’s moving toward that. Not at a quick enough pace for us, not at a quick enough pace for him so we’ll continue to work.”
The Steelers’ punting situation remains a murky one even after the team placed Adam Podlesh on the reserve/did not report list on Tuesday. Podlesh has yet to practice with the Steelers since they reported to camp July 25 due to complications from his wife’s pregnancy. There apparently is no timetable as far as Podlesh re-joining the Steelers. “His status will remain (on the reserve list) until we hear otherwise,” Tomlin said. “Right now we’re working with Brad [Wing] and like the work that he’s doing.” Wing has been the only punter with the Steelers since camp started. When asked if the Steelers will bring in another punter with Podlesh’s status uncertain, Tomlin said, “Not that I’m opposed to it, but not as we stand here right now.”
Ben Roethlisberger unwittingly,picked the right defender to target when he unleashed his worst pass of the day. Roethlisberger threw a ball right at Taylor in an 11-on-11 drill and it sailed through the veteran cornerback’s hands. Tomlin, standing a few feet away, put his hands on his head and turned around to face the crowd at Chuck Noll Field for several seconds. Taylor’s drops have been well-documented and it has to be all mental at this point. He is too good of an athlete to consistently botch the easiest of catches.
Linebacker Vince Williams left practice with a possible concussion. Williams looked a little wobbly as two trainers walked him to a cart and then drove him off the practice fields so he could be evaluated. Left guard Ramon Foster (knee swelling) also did not finish practice. Tight end Michael Palmer, who had been out with an ankle injury, returned to practice and caught a touchdown pass in traffic during a 7-on-7 drills. Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) did not do much beyond individual work.
The Steelers’ final two practices of camp will be joint ones with the Buffalo Bills. The two teams will practice Wednesday at St. Vincent College from 2:55 to 5:30 p.m. ET.