LATROBE, Pa. — Pittsburgh Steelers training camp sparked the return of football for the first time in what felt like forever. The six-week break between minis and training camp had to come to an end, and once it did, the players made sure to put on a show.
A whole week of football left almost an entire notebook full of remarks. Looking back, 10 players made the comments more than anyone else. These are the 10 guys who impressed during Week 1 of Steelers training camp.
Rudolph entered training camp with little outside hope of proving himself as a starter. A week into training camp, Rudolph is the most consistent quarterback on the field, getting more comfortable with the deep ball as the days go by, and he might actually have a chance to pull this off.
It took one practice for Calvin Austin to catch a pass off a screen and fly down the sideline, burning the entire defense and sending the crowd into a frenzy. You didn’t know what to expect about Austin’s workload coming into camp, but so far we’ve seen him take a backup and a pass rush for more than 15 yards.
This rookie might be the fastest guy on the field. It certainly has a place among the general public. He can also struggle to return punts.
Pickens is every bit the star he was at OTAs and minicamp. The second-round pick shouldn’t have gone all the way to pick 52. The other 32 teams that passed on him will regret it, as he will be one of the best tight ends in the NFL for years to come.
Whether it’s winning contested catches against guys like Ahkello Witherspoon or finding an opening in the zone, Pickens does it all.
Spillane is battling Devin Bush and Myles Jack for the starting inside linebacker job. So far he’s found a (very nice) interception and has been the team’s favorite for goal line sets.
When the pads come we will see more. But Spillane definitely wants to become a starter this season — and he can.
Vons was a sneaky good wideout when he was working with the third team. The USC star caught everyone’s attention when he caught Kenny Pickett’s first seven snaps in the back of the endzone, but he’s been quietly playing all week.
It’s a long battle to make the top five for Vonn, but if he continues to play, you can’t deny his impact.
Miller sees this season as an opportunity to return to an active roster, and many see him as a real shot. Mike Tomlin has been impressed with Miller in Week 1 and has worked with the first team several times.
Miller doesn’t bring the special teams skills that guys like Myles Boykin have, so he’ll have to really show his value on offense to make the team.
Yes, TJ Watt looks the whole 99 he was overlooked for. He has covered at least three passes so far, been Chuks Okorafor’s worst nightmare and has a pick six.
Scroll to Continue
Defensive Player of the Year didn’t slow Watt down at all.
Dan Moore Jr
Alex Highsmith also impressed during training camp, but Dan Moore Jr. was able to handle almost every rep. The second-year left tackle has both high and low expectations, depending on who you ask, but he’s impressed so far.
Pads are going into Week 2 so we’ll see how long this lasts. So far it looks like he’s made a nice jump from year two.
Kazee came and intercepted Calvin Austin on a crossing route, which made everyone remember, Damontae Kazee is here to play. The newly signed defenseman started in place of the injured Minkah Fitzpatrick and made some quality plays on defense.
When the pads come on, it will be interesting to see if that continues. Kazee’s biggest problem throughout his career has been his matchup.
Boykin told me we’d never see him have two bad days in a row, and he followed through. After throwing two deep balls Friday, he returned Saturday to make three deep catches from Mason Rudolph and Mitchell Trubisky.
Boykin showed this week that he has the ability to beat players deep. HE always has a leg up on whatever defender is against him. As long as he continues to make catches, he will continue to impress.
Make sure to bookmark All Steelers for breaking news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and more!
Steelers QB Notebook: Kenny Pickett steps up competition
The Steelers add two more to the injured list
Chase Claypool leaves training camp with injury
Mike Tomlin shares his favorite story from Ben Roethlisberger’s camp
Steelers roster prediction: Only two QBs, another signing coming