UNITY TWP., Pa — The Steelers got a surprise player to stand out on the first day of training camp. It was not one of the top players but rather a slept-on safety in Elijah Riley. Riley was someone that was named a guy who had a strong Spring and made a lot of plays.
The one guy that had a great spring and started off training camp strong was Elijah Riley in the slot. Riley picked off Mason Rudolph in the first team period. That was the first splash training camp. Later, he would work in with the first team on punt return and coverage, showcasing his valuable area there, too. The backup safety spots are up for grabs. Count me in as a believer that Riley probably wins one of them.
Secondary coach Grady Brown believes that Riley could be a guy that really sticks in this league. It’s tough to project how the roster will break out at this point, but Riley has traits the Steelers simply like right now. He is smart, versatile, and a plus special teamer. Those traits check the boxes for a guy who could make a push for the bottom of the roster spot.
“I’ll tell you what, he can play in this league,” Brown said at minicamp. “You go back to the Raiders game and he gave us some really valuable reps. It’s just about building consistency. But there’s no doubt he can play in this league.”
He was one of the starting Steelers wingbacks in special teams today. That is something to watch. Riley and Tre Norwood will duke it out for that last safety spot. But one thing is certain and that is Riley is coming into this one on a heater right now. The interception only adds to the resume he is now starting to put together.