Steelers training camp observations


The Steelers returned to Saint Vincent College after their trip to Canton, Ohio and returned to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon. One familiar face returned to the practice field as well. James Harrison had been running drills in sweats since camp opened but was in pads in full force for Tuesday’s practice.

About an hour before the start of practice Ed Bouchette of the PPG reported that the Steelers had signed place kicker Garrett Hartley and placed Shaun Suisham on injured/reserve. Hartley had previously spent time with the New Orleans Saints and, more recently, went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts for the Cleveland Browns last season.

To make room for Hartley the team waived QB/WR Devin Gardner. Hartley has some big shoes to step into to replace Suisham but Tomlin commented after practice that he liked the experience Hartley brings to the table.

"“He’s an established guy. He’s a been-there-done-that guy.” – Mike Tomlin"

He brings consistency and accuracy to the table for a young veteran. He kicked for the Super Bowl Champion Saints back in 2009 and has an 81.7 percent field goal average for his career. Suisham has an 84.1 percent average. Hartley also has accuracy outdoors, which is promising considering I was definitely surprised to see the Steelers select a kicker that has mainly kicked in a dome stadium to kick in Heinz Field, one of the notoriously difficult venues to kick in.

Other than the change in kickers James Harrison returned to the practice field for the first time this training camp. Mike Prisuta explained how Steelers coach Mike Tomlin described a “general enthusiasm” for the players back out on the practice field on Tuesday.

Steelers Training Camp 8-11-2015

Coming off of the loss to the Vikings in the Hall of Fame game and having 92 roam the field, there was definitely an enthusiasm on the field. I was at practice at camp today and Harrison was the first player I spotted during warmups. His energy radiated throughout the field.

Another camp observation: Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown look ridiculous, in a good way. The shape their bodies are in is nothing short of amazing. They walk around with their shirts rolled up showing off their immaculate abs and it makes you wish that touching their stomachs was as socially accepted as how you would rub a pregnant woman’s belly without permission.

Without question we are heading into the meat of training camp and while I’m sure Tomlin will do his part to make sure that the veterans are well rested and get the adequate amount of time off; it’s go time. I can’t wait to see the impact Harrison will have on these young defensive players on the field instead of just the weight room.

Next: Steelers players to look for in preseason

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