PITTSBURGH — The full version of the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers took the field for the first time on Tuesday. The eam opened its mandatory minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side, the first of three June sessions that serve as the only full-squad workouts in advance of the team’s training camp in Latrobe.
Of course, most of the team has been in attendance for OTAs the last three weeks, but veteran offensive lineman David DeCastro made his first appearance on Tuesday, and safety Sean Davis, who hasn’t been a full participant, was also on hand.
As for the work, it’s a more intense practice schedule that more closely resembles the regular season, according to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but as head coach Mike Tomlin likes to say, it’s still football in shorts.
The Steelers host many coaching collegiate coaches during their May and June workouts, but they had some professional visitors on Tuesday, as head coach Mike Sullivan and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins coaching staff visited practice on Tuesday.
“We’ve got very fluent relationships with our local partners, man,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “Those guys, we have a lot of respect for them. We glean and learn from them. They learn from us. A lot of mutual respect. Why wouldn’t you listen and learn from those guys? They’ve had a lot of success in their space, particularly of late.”
Former Oakland Raiders receiver Johnny Holton is known for his speed, but he made an outstanding one-handed catch during a goal-line drill, bringing this ball down in the back of the end zone:
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Ben Roethlisberger worked with the top group of receivers, which included Diontae Johnson, Donte Moncrief, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Eli Rogers, Ryan Switzer and James Washington, on several routes. He’re an interesting out-then-in pattern that they were working on, along with another unique drill Eddie Faulkner laid out for the running backs.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Delivers Pizzas to Steelers Fans
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is bringing some joy to fans during tough times.
Smith-Schuster spent his Tuesday afternoon delivering pizzas for PizzaHut, and even took the time to snap a pic with a young fan, courtesy of JimStamm22 on Twitter.
Hopefully, this gives everyone a little lift today. @TeamJuJu just delivered @pizzahut to our house in Pittsburgh. He even took a little time to take a picture with our son, Ben. Thanks Juju, you made our day!!! 👍😁🍕#Steelers #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/u7u561SheP— ForTheCity_412 (@JimStamm22) June 2, 2020
A fan favorite, Smith-Schuster is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh.
After an explosive sophomore season in 2018, Smith-Schuster battled injuries and inconsistent quarterback play that combined for a lackluster 2019.
With the return of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster appears primed to deliver more than pizzas this upcoming season.
Report: Steelers to Hold Training Camp at Team Facility, Not at Saint Vincent College
It looks like the Steelers will be staying home for training camp this August.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday, the league has informed teams that they must hold training camp at their facilities later this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And so the NFL has told all its teams that they must stay at their team facilities for this summer's training camps.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 2, 2020
The Steelers will now be conducting training camp on the South Side, instead of their traditional summer home of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, snapping a 54-year streak.
The league still plans for training camp to begin on time, but has made no announcement on changes to the season or whether games will have fans.
Steelers Honor 2020 Graduates at Heinz Field
The Pittsburgh Steelers are showing love to the 2020 graduates that had their senior years cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team honored this year’s graduating class by displaying a congratulatory message on the scoreboard at Heinz Field Friday night.
You worked hard.— Heinz Field (@heinzfield) May 30, 2020
You did your best.
You gave it your all.
You earned this.
Congratulations to the class of 2020! pic.twitter.com/bzykmUF6u7
A few current and former Steelers players also voiced their support on social media, including running back James Conner, defensive end Cam Heyward and retired defensive end Brett Keisel.
“Keep focused, keep chasing your dreams,” Conner said. “I know 2020’s been a wild year, but just stay focused, stay locked in. I know you guys are all going to go and accomplish great things.”
Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2020!— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 29, 2020
Tonight at 8:20 pm, we honor you by displaying a special congratulatory message on the videoboard at @HeinzField!@JamesConner_ | @CamHeyward | @bkeisel99 pic.twitter.com/HaG5SVofNi
Students across the Pittsburgh area have been forced to finish the school year from home, and have unfortunately had to miss out on some of life’s biggest milestones, such as prom and graduation day.
It’s great to see the Steelers doing their part to make students feel celebrated and recognized.