Day 2 — the final day that the Steelers rookie camp is open to the media — started to reveal some players that have a legit shot of either making the 53-man roster, or at least being an option for the practice squad.
This is what I saw:
*Le’Veon Bell wasn’t able to show his power-running style during a pad-less practice, but the rookie second-round pick out of Michigan State sure showed his skill set. During a scramble, Oklahoma rookie quarterback Landry Jones flung the ball awkwardly in the flat to Bell, who plucked the ball out of the air with one hand. Later on, Bell showed some nimble feet when broke through the line of scrimmage and made a move on safety Andrew Taglianetti that almost broke the ankles of the rookie safety out of Pitt, who is on a three-day tryout with the Steelers. Very impressive so far, but let’s be honest here. He’s not being judged against NFL-caliber competition yet.
* It was yet another day of struggles for Jones. Now, his passes looked a little more crisp than Friday and he actually did complete a few during 7-on-7, but it also wasn’t pretty at times. Two passes in particular where awful by Jones. First, he tried to dump off a pass to diminutive USC running back Curtis McNeal after going through his progressions, but instead, he threw the ball right into the belly of WVU rookie linebacker Terrence Gavin for an easy score. Later on, Jones badly overthrew tight end Jamie McCoy across the middle that was intercepted by Pitt cornerback Jarred Holley. Like I said, it wasn’t all bad for Jones. He ran a couple designed waggles where he looked nimble, but again struggled with his accuracy. I know it hasn’t looked good for Jones in two days, but it has only been two days. He will get better, there is no doubt about that.
Tomlin said just about as much following the morning session: “It’s a work in progress. I like his attitude. He’s a good communicator, he’s a sharp guy in the classroom, but like all the others, he’s at the very beginning of his journey.”
* First-year cornerback Isaiah Green out of Fresno State might be somebody to look out for. He intercepted a pass from Purdue QB Caleb Terbush intended for UConn first-year receiver Kashif Moore. Green followed that up a few plays later with by breaking up a pass down field.
* Rookie right tackle Mike Golic Jr. is a little undersized but was pretty physical on Northern Illinois rookie linebacker Alan Baxter. Penn State and Shady Side Academy tackle Mike Farrell looks like he might have a shot as well. Speaking of Farrell, I had a chance to talk to him for a couple minutes and he told me that Bill O’Brien‘s pro-style offense last year at PSU has helped him out tremendously during rookie camp.
* Standing out were Syracuse safety and fourth-round pick Shamarko Thomas during gunner drills; Utah rookie receiver Reggie Dunn and his crazy speed; fifth-rounder Terry Hawthorne and his smoothness at right corner; and the power and potential of first-year linebacker Marshall McFadden.
That’s all I have for now. The Steelers have a session on Sunday then won’t reconvene until the start of voluntary OTAs May 21. But don’t fret, we will still have plenty of Steelers coverage at the Tribune-Review.
– By Mark Kaboly