Steelers news: varsity, confusion, bad turf

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Steelers training camp and preseason are 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 Thursday, August 13th.

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Starters will start

The Steelers will play their first preseason game on Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yes, you read that right, the Jaguars game is the first official (as official as preseason can be) preseason game as the Hall of Fame game is a stand-alone exhibition game.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon and explained that while most of the starters were in street clothes for the Hall of Fame game; they’ll be on the field in Jacksonville.

"“Our intention is that all healthy men are going to play in the football game. How much they’ll play will be determined positionally; not only in terms of what some of the established guys need to see, but also in terms of the quality and depth behind them.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin listed the following players as officially out for Friday night’s game: Robert Golden, Daniel McCullers, Ross Ventrone, Vince Williams, Bruce Gradkowski, Mike Adams, Senquez Golson, Cameron Stingily and Shaun Suisham.

What’s he doing out there?

Todd Haley and Randy Fichtner may have the titles of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively, but anyone can see that this Steelers offense firmly belongs to Ben Roethlisberger. Fichtner explained to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Roethlisberger can even confuse the coaches at times when he takes over a play call at the line of scrimmage.

"“Now he sees looks and says, ‘I don’t like my chances here,’ so he changes it, the next thing you know the ball’s to Antonio Brown, plus 10, damn. We’re on the sideline like, ‘What did we just do? He just did something as easy as this [makes signal] before he took the snap. They ran a signal the other day and we were like what was that? He ran a skinny post and it went for 70. We didn’t have that signal.” – Randy Fichtner"

Whatever Ben is doing at the line it seems to be working. He and Antonio Brown are coming off of career-high years for each of them and Roethlisberger has been sacked his lowest average times per game last season since 2005.

Blame it on the turf

Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the boogie, blame Shaun Suisham’s season-ending ACL and meniscus tear on the 11-year-old FieldTurf at Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio, says the PPG’s Ed Bouchette. The team is telling Bouchette that the turf caused Suisham to lose his footing while he ran down under his kickoff to start the second half.

I’m not sure what the turf had to do with why Suisham thought it was cool for him to attempt a tackle in a meaningless exhibition game but that’s beside the point, I suppose. Incidentally, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is now replacing that 11-year-old turf, after their annually nationally televised game was played.

That seems a bit strange.

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