What to look for in Steelers Training Camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers report to Training Camp July 27 looking to get their Seventh Super Bowl. Here’s what to look for from each position group:

Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs, Bart Houston

What to watch: We know Big Ben is probably not going to start all 16 games; he hasn’t since 2014. So that means Landry Jones will play in at least one game. Can he be an adequate backup? Joshua Dobbs was drafted in the 4th round and is a project. Can he show signs of being Big Ben’s heir apparent?

Running backs:
Bell, Le’Veon, James Conner, Knile Davis, Fitzgerald Toissaint, Brandon Brown-Dukes, Terrell Watson, Trey Williams

We know that Le’Veon Bell will probably miss most of training camp because of his contract situation. But he’ll be ready for the regular season. But how many games will be play? Because of injury or suspension, he’s only played all 16 games once in his career. Will 3rd round pick James Conner step in and be an adequate backup to Bell? What will his role be anyway? What about Knile Davis? Is he just a kick returner? Will he even make the team?

Wide Receivers:
Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darrius Heyward Bey, Justin Hunter, Cobi Hamilton, Marcus Tucker, Demarcus Ayers, Canaan Severin

The Wide Receiver position was a mess last year. Behind Antonio Brown, there was very little depth. What will the depth chart look like this year? The wildcard is Martavis Bryant. He missed all of last season due to suspension and has potential to be world-class. Who will play slot, Eli Rogers or 2nd round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster? Will Cobi Hamilton, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey or Justin Hunter make the team?

Tight Ends:
Jesse James, David Johnson, Xavier Grimble, Scott Orndoff, Phazahn Odom

Losing Ladarius Green hurt. Does Jesse James have what it takes to be a number 1 tight end in the NFL, or will Steelers just employ more 4-WR sets? What will David Johnson’s role be? Will undrafted free agent Scott Orndoff make the team?

Alejandro Villanueva, Marcus Gilbert, Chris Hubbard, Matt Feller, Jake Rodgers

Starters are pretty much set here. Villanueva on the left side and Gilbert on the right. When will Villanueva get his contract signed? What if he doesn’t? Who would play LT? Jerald Hawkins might be the pick here.

Ramon Foster, David DeCastro, Jerald Hawkins, BJ Finney, Chris Hubbard, Keavon Milton

Not much of an issue here. Foster on the left and DeCastro on the right.

Roosevelt Nix

Nix is listed as the only FB on the roster. How much will he be used?

Defensive End:
Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Leterrius Walton, Lavon Hooks, Roy Philon, Christian Brown, Farrington Huguenin, Nelson Adams, Francis Kallon

Cam Heyward mentioned there needs to be more depth and a rotation on the defensive line. Will free agent pickup Tyson Alualu help with that?

Nose Tackle:
Javon Hargrave, Daniel Mccullers, Johnny Maxey

Is this the end for Daniel Mccullers? The addition of Tyson Alualu may mean Mccullers could be gone.

Outside Linebacker:
Bud Dupree, James Harrison, TJ Watt, Arthur Moats, Anthony Chickillo, Kevin Anderson, Keion Adams

James Harrison is a great story, playing so well at this point in his career. He’ll be 39 this year; how much will he play? How quickly will 1st round pick TJ Watt adjust to the NFL and contribute?
How much can Bud Dupree improve? He still has a lot of potential and is still relatively young.

Inside Linebacker:
Ryan Shazier, Tyler Matakevich, Vince Williams, LJ Fort, Keith Kelsey, Steven Johnson, Matt Galambos

The starters are Shazier and Vince Williams. They lost Lawrence Timmons to free agency and Shazier isn’t always healthy. Who will step up between Matakevich, Johnson, Fort, Kelsey and Galambos?

Artie Burns, Senquez Golson, Coty Sensabaugh, Ross Cockrell, William Gay, Cameron Sutton, Greg Ducre, Brian Allen, Brandon Dixon, Mike Hilton

Do the Steelers want to play more press coverage this year? With such a young defense they played a lot of zone in the past.
Burns and Cockrell are the starts on the left and right side but who will play slot corner? William Gay, Free agent Coty Sensabaugh or 3rd round pick Cameron Sutton?
What will happen to Senquez Golson? He’s been hurt the past 2 training camps and hasn’t shown anything. Will the 2nd round pick from 2015 be a bust?

Sean Davis, Mike Mitchell, Robert Golden, Daimion Stafford, Jordan Dangerfield, Jacob Hagen, Terrish Webb

Not many questions here. Davis and Mitchell will start. Will free agent Daimion Stafford make the team?

Special Teams
Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry

No changes in PK or P as there aren’t even anyone in camp to challenge Boswell or Berry. Who will return kickoffs? Knile Davis or Sammie Coates or someone else?


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Lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan here.

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