My Trip To Steelers Training Camp in Latrobe, PA...

Posted by Dan on Aug 6, 2004 @ 3:50 PM

I arrived at St. Vincents right around 3pm, so I missed the guys coming out on the field. I sat on the hill side of things on the 50 yard line. I didn't get a very good view of the Defense going through warmups, but I was mainly interested in the Offense—specifically Roethlisberger.

I also took some pictures and videos, which I'll post links to below.

NOTES:

  • Roethlisberger has a gun and he throws the ball w/what looks like no effort. When throwing the ball with velocity, you'd hear the pop of it hitting the reciever's hands. (He even made one of the coaches yell "Ouch"—video below.)
  • One of the most impressives throws of the day was made by Big Ben. The throw itself looked so effortless, like tossing the ball casually w/your buddies, but it travelled 45-50 yards in the air, had a nice 40-50 feet of air and landed in the recievers hands at a full sprint. I think it was either Milons or Mays that caught the ball, but it dropped down in their hands in perfect stride.
  • Roethlisberger was splitting time w/the 1st and 3rd teams.
  • Maddox & Roethlisberger were easily the best QBs on the field.
  • Batch was either on or off. He be right on target with a perfect throw and the next throw would be 5 yards too short. He seem to be throwing off balance a lot—which would explain the erratic throws.
  • Maddox balls seemed to be really floating, no more than probably in game time, but you could tell a huge difference between Roethlisberger's throws.
  • Roethlisberger looked pretty damn accurate to me. The only ball I saw that was way overthrown, was on a bomb to Burress in which the D got called for holding/interference. The couple of other passes that went high were to the shorter recievers and even then they got hands on them. I expected some erratic throwing because it's only his second day (outside of mini camp) throwing to these guys.
  • Roethlisberger really able to deliver a bullet with very little motion. A saw at least one pass he riffled in w/almost no throwing motion (he had a corner blitzer coming up on his backside.) He hit the reciever, but they dropped the ball (the reciever did have a db blanket on his back and the ball was a little low—around the waste—but it was catchable.)
  • Antwaan Randel El had a great catch down the sideline over Colclough. Colclough had him blanketed, but Randel El just timed his jumped perfectly and snagged it from him. This was probably a 40 yard pass and had nice air underneath it.
  • Riemersma (sp) seemed to be playing w/the second team Offense. He did not seem to be getting seperation. He made a few catches, but the balls he caught would not have been completions at gametime.
  • Kranchick seemed to be our best recieving TE. He was getting the majority of the reps at TE. He and Cushing seemed to be splitting reps with the 1st team. Kranchick looks to have really good hands and gets seperation from the LBs. He was getting the majority of reps during practice, and you saw him getting fatigued towards the end of practice.
  • Our TE's cannot block. Cushing was by far the best blocking TE on the field—and that's not saying much. Cushing can hold up the guy he's blocking, but he's not big enough to drive the guy off him. Kranchick gets run over—he's just too tall and gets no leverage.
  • Our OL was getting destroyed by the defense on one-on-one drills. I didn't have the best view of the OL one-on-one drills, but the people sitting behind me had binoculars and were reporting what was happening.
  • Max Starks is surprising nimble for his size. He moves well on the run while pulling. The bad news is, he's having trouble getting leverage. I thought he foot work looked fine, but he needs to learn to move his body w/leverage. He was too upright and the DL was pushing right through him.
  • They're going to have a hard time cutting Zamir Cobb. If we didn't already have ARE, he would definitely make the team. He did an excellent job on Punt returns during practice. As a reciever he always managed to get open, he cuts on a dime. I also didn't see him drop any catchable balls. He looked like a cross between ARE (in his cutting and quickness) and Ward (with his hands, precise route running and ability to get open.) Cobb got lots of reps.
  • Whittaker is huge. He seemed to have pretty good hands, but didn't get many balls thrown his way. I'm was mainly watching the QBs, so I'm not sure how his route running was.
  • Our first team OL held up ok, but the 2nd & 3rd OL was getting trambled.
  • Adibi was hands down the best LOLB I saw yesterday. I would not be surprised if he is w/the first team during some preseason games. He did not look like he was having a problem making the transaction from DE to OLB. He had a tip at the line, would have had a sack or two and did well in coverage. Haggans better get his ass on the field or he could lose his job.
  • Zo Jackson didn't get much playing time. He seemed to be a good presence to the other players. He was constantly cheering his follow teammates on.
  • Reed's leg looks strong. When they were doing their special team drills and he was kicking FGs, he was constantly well above the goal posts and hit the camera crane on the first three attempts (and even landed one on the platform.) I could judge accuracy, because I was sitting at a bad angle (and the balls were so high,) but the camera crane looked to be in the middle of the posts—so I'd assume the first three split the uprights.
  • Duce is going to eat up the LBs in the AFCN. He was running excellent routes and is going to catch a lot of balls this year.
  • Colclough put the wood on Brown (or maybe Hayes) on one play. Colclough held back, but when he hit him it stop in place and drew a huge "Oooh.." from the crowd.
  • Eric Taylor looked real good as well. I suspect to see him getting some real playing time this year (if yesterday's practice was any indication.)

OVERALL:

I thought the practice looked a little sluggish, but this was the first training camp I've been to. However, I was listening to Savaran on 970AM on the way back and Bob LaBriole called in and said basically the same thing. He basically commented that this is the time when the two-a-days start to catch up on them and that you could tell they had a full scrimage last night.

The DL was beating up on the OL. Many of the pass completion during the drills would have never have left the QBs hands if we were playing for real. LeBeau had them blitzing a lot—sending the CBs in etc.

MULTIMEDIA:

Here are the videos and pictures I took. Beware, the videos are large. Don't expect great videography. I was using my digital camera and the zoom is pretty crappy. I was also not watching what I was taping, so its a little shakey at times—though it's still very watchable. If you download all the videos, it'll take up a 120MBs, so make sure you're on a fast connection.

Categories: Sports

4 Comments

  • Rock on Dan! I've been scouring the net for some real info on Big Ben in camp and you're the first person I've found who has it (and VIDEO TOO!!) Yeah!!!

    Thanks from a RedHawk fan!
  • Check out the Steeler Nation message board over at SteelerWatch:
    http://www.steelerwatch.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay...

    Lots of Steeler fans are giving updates from camp. You'll also notice the excitement over Ben and that he's really having a good camp. While I still think he's a year away from probably winning the job, he's made at least one sports writer (Bob Labriole I believe) change his mind. The writer original said there was *no* way Big Ben would start. He's now of the opinion, that if Ben continues to improve and excel and Maddox falters, there's a chance for him to start.

    He's really getting praise in camp for his ability to throw on the run. As the coaches and the media keep reporting when he rolls out of the pocket, he's always going through his progressions look to *throw* first and then run--but as a RedHawk fan, I'm sure you know this already!

    Glad you found some good info!
  • Your Steelers are looking very tough, one of the best young http://www.covers.com/data/nfl/schedule/2003-2004/...">Football Teams in the NFL. I agree they are probably a year away. Whey don't they do more to get Randle El involved. He's the type of player that makes great things happen.
  • You have violated NFL law governing use of NFL footage on the Internet. You will be sent to a re-education camp and neutered.

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