Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions: Training Camp, Vol. 2

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training CampPool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

There is always something to talk about when it comes to the black-and-gold!

It’s Friday again, so it’s time for the six pack of questions. I know—some may ask why do the questions with the limited commenting going on due to the new system which was launched 11 days ago. While we understand the frustrations, the best thing we can do is still offer you all the opportunity to interact even know the new system doesn’t offer the same things. As the system was described earlier this week in a comment by hampsteel44, it went from a “conversation section” to merely a comment section (which I, Dave, passed on to as high as I can reach at SB Nation). But this is our reality at the present, so the best thing we can do is still offer some Steelers talk.

This week, I, Dave, will be tasked with the questions up for discussion.

The rules are still the same…

Quick rundown of the ground rules.

  • I’ll ask at least four questions strictly related to the Steelers.
  • The rest of the questions could be about anything.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have fun talking about the Black-and-gold.

Procedural Note: Since the title feature has gone away, please feel free to leave your usual title as the first line of your response and even bold it if you can for the ease of others.

So here we go! With the formalities out of the way, it’s time to jump on in. Hopefully this party is exactly what you’re looking for on a Friday night. Here goes:

1. I’m going non-Steelers right off the bat. After the change to Coral as the comment system, if there was only ONE thing which could be brought back from the old system, which would be the most important?

2. Padded practices start Monday, so coverage of training camp will be ramping up here at BTSC as more information should be coming available. One thing in particular is a live look-in at camp on at 12:45 PM each day. Will you be checking it out, or will you wait for others to give reports of training camp?

3. Have you ever been to Steelers training camp in Latrobe? If so, how often have you gone? If not, what has kept you from going?

4. Over the last 6 months many of us have spent much more time at home. What is one thing you’ve grown to appreciate from having to “stay at home” which you may not have been able to do otherwise? (For any of you forced to spend less time at home due to the nature of your job, let us know what you’ve been doing)

5. The NFL announced some fantastic numbers when it comes to their COVID-19 testing. Does this give you more hope for an NFL season, or are you still in “wait and see” mode?

6. The NFL has adjusted the rules for 2020 practice squad where as many as 6 veterans (players who would normally not have any practice squad eligibility left) can be a part of the group. Is there a player on the Steelers’ roster who wouldn’t be eligible in a normal year who you think doesn’t make the 53-man roster but does land on the practice squad? (Think of players with 3+ years)

Stay safe out there!

And it wouldn’t be a Friday night unless we said…



We added some new shows and a new platform to our podcasts…if you haven’t checked out Jeff’s new morning show Let’s Ride, Bryan and Tony’s Steelers Retro Show or Dave’s Steelers Stat Geek, or even the new evening shows, give them a try by listening below!

6 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin during his interview on Thursday

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training CampPool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers head coach brought up several players when he was asked questions by the Pittsburgh media.

It’s back by popular demand! The return of looking at the players mentioned in Mike Tomlin’s press conferences carries on as the team prepares for fully padded practices starting on Monday. As is usually the case, these players are not always ones Tomlin brought up himself but are specifically players about whom Tomlin was asked questions. This week, Tomlin took some liberties to bring up players in response to some general questions.

Derek Watt

One of the new additions to the Steelers roster via free agency in 2020 is new fullback Derek Watt. Coach Tomlin was asked about his expertise on special teams and what he could bring to the offense this coming season.

“I think we are in the process of discovering that as we familiarize ourselves with him and his skillsets and the things he does well. The known aspect of his game that was really attractive to us was his high-level of productivity on special teams. I think he and Tyler (Matakevich) led the NFL in special teams tackles a year ago. And because we had an opportunity to play against his team last year, we also were very respectful of his functional fullback skills. But some of the off-the-beaten-path things, some of the additional things, we are going to learn about him along the way.”

Matt Feiler

The Steelers offensive line has been a unit discussed often during the 2020 offseason as more than half of the starters are now over the age of 30. Coach Tomlin was asked about having veterans on the offensive and he took the time to specifically mention Matt Feiler as he is transitioning back to guard after starting all but one game at tackle in 2019.

“Particularly in this environment, I think continuity is an asset. Offensive line, it probably gives you an advantage in some of the unforeseen things that you could see in stadiums at the early portions of the season that you don’t have a lot of video evidence of. That shared past experience that those guys have has a potential to be an asset to them, no doubt. But we are also going through some transition there. Looking exclusively at Matt Feiler at left guard. He has also been apart of us, but he has been playing right tackle.”

Steven Nelson & Joe Haden

In Steven Nelson’s interview on Tuesday, he stated he wants to be recognized as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and feels he is underrated. When asked about this, Coach Tomlin stated he likes Nelson having an edge and discussed the pairing of him and Joe Haden in the secondary.

“I certainly like a guy that has an edge, a guy that’ll do whatever it takes to find that edge. That feels like a comfortable place for Steve (Nelson) in terms of being overlooked for his quality of play and his consistency of play. Those are the two things I really value about him. I told him the other day his presence has been an enjoyable experience for me and us. He’s low maintenance. He’s very consistent. He’s highly professional. He just checks a lot of boxes. That tandem of he and Joe Haden are one of the central reasons why we’re excited about the potential of that back-end group. Obviously, we have to come together and get to work. Those two guys and that level of consistency in terms of their day-to-day approach to preparation and ultimately their play is really attractive to a guy in my position.”

James Washington & Diontae Johnson

The final question asked of Mike Tomlin on Thursday was in regards to players coming to camp with somewhat of a body transformation as they enter their second year in the NFL. Even though the question was centered around running back Benny Snell Jr., Coach Tomlin chose to give examples from the receiving corps both last year and this year when discussing the issue.

“I think not only running backs, and this is a legitimate discussion that you mentioned because of the guys that you mentioned. I think it happens across all positions. I think that continual discussion that we have about the difference between Year 1 and Year 2, you’re speculating in Year 1. In Year 2 you know what’s required of you, not only in the short term but just the overall journey itself—the level of conditioning required. We talked quite a bit a year ago about the transformation of James Washington’s body with that knowledge and understanding, for example. I believe you guys will see a significant physical difference in Diontae Johnson, since we’re talking about receivers, along those lines this year. I think you could look at any position and see growth and development in terms of understanding between Year 1 and Year 2 in terms of appropriate actions taken because of it, whether it’s guys adding bulk and strength for the long term fight or whether it’s guys getting lean and fighting professional tendencies, professional rhythms in terms of diets and nutrition. There’s a lot of reasons why those bodies transform, but it has to do a lot with knowledge as opposed to speculating.”

A portion of Mike Tomlin’s interview can be seen here with a link to the entire interview on YouTube: