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:
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.