4 important notes from Day 1 of Steelers training camp

  • A surprising name earns starting snaps at slot CB
  • Steelers may have found a new upback

Steelers, Calvin Austin III
Steelers, Calvin Austin III / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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As much as we want to, we can't overreact to the first Steelers training camp practice of the year -- especially one in shorts and shells. Pittsburgh won't have their first fully padded practice until the beginning of August, as they plan to ease into action in their first four sessions of on-field action.

Regardless, it's important to note some of the things we are hearing so far from the first day of practice. Steelers Twitter is suddenly blowing up with notes and play-by-plays from media, bloggers, and fans in attendance at practice. Here are the most important notes from Day 1 of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp.

DeMarvin Leal working as an interior defensive lineman

Alex Kozora shared on Twitter that DeMarvin Leal lined up on the interior defensive line with his hand in the dirt. Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now also noted that Leal played both defensive line and outside linebacker during the first practice.

This isn't completely unexpected. Pittsburgh took advantage of Leal's versatility as a rookie, but a knee injury got in the way. With a tweener frame and skillset, Mike Tomlin and Teryl Austin could be trying to figure out where Leal fits best.

Personally, my hope is that he gets things figured out on the interior defensive line. As an athlete, Leal is quick, nibble-footed, and bendy compared to many interior defenders, but these traits become pedestrian when compared to edge defenders in the NFL.

Lea's best route to success is to make it as a situational pass-rusher from multiple alignments along the interior defensive line. The first practice shows that the Steelers are still trying to figure him out, but it's promising to note that he's working with his hand in the dirt.