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Kaboly: Camp Tomlin has been physical, but smart … so far

-- Chaz Palla The Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey (53) and Hebron Fangupo (yellow) get into a fight during practice Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at St. Vincent in Latrobe

— Chaz Palla
The Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey (53) and Hebron Fangupo (yellow) get into a fight during practice Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at St. Vincent in Latrobe

Mike Tomlin has done this training camp thing a number of times already, so I am pretty sure he knows what he is doing.

Camp Tomlin No. 8 is nearly halfway over here at St. Vincent College and this one ranks up there as one of the most physical under his watch.

Well, as physical as it can be under the new CBA that limits a whole bunch of stuff, most notably two-a-days.

Still, this one has been intense. This one has been hard-hitting. This one has been chippy. Shoving, punching, hitting, fighting, jawing – you name it and it has/is going on.

Oh yeah, and physical.

There have been at least two live hitting drills – backs on backers, tight ends/outside linebackers, pass rushing/blocking, Oklahoma – and one competition team period during every practice.

That might not seem like much, but I would imagine that it would hard-pressed to find another team with that much live hitting in training camp.

All this hitting in camp and preseason seems like a disaster waiting to happen, right?

As previously mentioned, Tomlin knows what he is doing.

First of all, Troy Polamalu takes part in none of these live drills or periods, and rightfully so. The last thing you need is your All-Pro safety getting hurting in August.

During linemen drills, the first team on both sides of the ball go once – if they are lucky.

Ben Roethlisberger had a day off and so did Heath Miller.

Tomlin is taking care of the players who matter while pushing the younger guys to the brink to see how they react. He wants to see if there is legitimate player out there among the 40 or so he knows little about, and that’s good.

This camp is very unlike Tomlin’s first camp when he wore the down with double-digit two-a-days in August that surfaced near the end of the season and in the playoffs.

So, who is my camp phenom so far?

Will you believe Mike Tomlin?
















Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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