Young by head coaching standards, Mike Tomlin has shown a tendency to respect his elders during his time in charge of the Steelers.
Tomlin has regularly given tenured veterans a day off from practice each week, typically Wednesday during the regular season. But a large chunk of the players who were often given the entitlement (i.e., Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Chris Hoke) retired (or are about to retire) since the end of last season.
Is Tomlin breeding a new generation of Veterans With Privileges?
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley was kept off the practice field Wednesday. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders did not practice Sunday. Tomlin said tight end Heath Miller would have been given a day off at some point, but a minor ankle injury sustained the first day of practice kept him out of practice for a few days anyway.
"Some of the guys who have a history of having a tough time dealing with training camp-type things, we're taking steps to preserve them and being proactive," Tomlin said.
Woodley had a hamstring injury last year that rendered him out of largely ineffective for the second half of the season.
- S Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith was removed from the PUP list and practiced for the first time this camp on Wednesday.
- RBs Chris Rainey (heat-related illness) and John Clay (groin) did not finish practice Wednesday. Neither ailment is expected to be serious.
- The Steelers spent time working on kick and punt returns Wednesday. Although Rainey surely would have been part of that mix, Baron Batch, Marquis Maze, Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Williams and David Gilreath were among those who were back for returns. It will be interesting to see who wins that job. The favorites are Rainey and Dwyer.
- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playfully covered kicks during the kick return drills.
- The Mike Wallace Watch entered Day Eight in Latrobe with no sight of the hold-out receiver.