Steelers: Friday night lights, passion, defense stamp


Steelers training camp is officially underway. For the next few weeks the team will lay the foundation for the 2015 regular season. While the Steelers are sweating in the hot Latrobe sun we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Saturday, August 1st.

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Friday Night Lights

One of the best traditions of Steelers training camp is the Friday night practice the team holds at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. The team boards school buses to travel from Saint Vincent College to the stadium to meet and sign autographs for fans for about an hour prior to practice.

The event brings the team back to their high school football playing days and brings them closer to Steeler Nation. This year Coach Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and others all boarded Mr. Rogers Neighborhood trolley to lead the caravan of school buses to the stadium.

The team participates in their “seven shots” drill where the first team offense goes up against the first team defense on the two-yard line and has seven shots to get it in the endzone. The team will also have the popular backs against backers drill as well.

Coach Peezy’s passion

Joey Porter played with a ton of passion at outside linebacker for the Steelers for almost a decade from 1999-2006. As the Trib’s Chris Adamski points out, he’s now in charge of trying to bring back that same passion to the Steelers outside linebackers of the new generation. Peezy isn’t taking his new job lightly.

"“The legacy of the outside linebackers in this defense has been historic. Year after year, we have always had great ones. Our position is held in a different regard than any other position on the defense.” – Joey Porter"

Porter has quite the legacy as a Steelers outside linebacker but he can cement a whole new legacy by turning Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree into two of the “great ones”.

Tomlin’s stamp on the defense

Mike Tomlin took over the Steelers in 2007 and was smart to keep Dick LeBeau and the defense he built in place at that point. Coming from a defensive background he waited patiently for LeBeau to move on before interfering with the defensive side of the football. Gerry Dulac of the PPG explains that with Keith Butler, Tomlin is more comfortable now taking a more active role in the defense.

With Butler entering his first season as defensive coordinator coming from being the linebacker coach he’s accepting help from Tomlin with the secondary.

"“I think he’s enjoying it. The hardest thing about being a head coach is you don’t get the opportunity to do it. This is his opportunity. He’s happy doing it and he’s good at doing it. It’s going to help us a lot.” – Keith Butler"

If there’s anything that can be improved on this Steelers defense it’s the secondary. Perhaps the long pass plays that the Steelers have been burned by the past two seasons will be a thing of a past.

Next: Steelers: Impact of Suspensions

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