Pittsburgh Steelers training camp: 5 position battles to watch
Pittsburgh Steelers are fighting for places on the 53-man roster, the field and even the practice squad. Though those scraps truly never ended, they take off more earnestly on Thursday as the team checks into training camp in Latrobe.
Careers will be threatened by these struggles. The Steelers’ 2017 season will be fundamentally shaped by them.
Here are five:
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James goes through drills during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers face the New England Patriots in the AFC conference championship on Sunday. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
This is a fight for the scraps of reps that Le’Veon Bell will leave behind once the season starts. But with Bell under no obligation to do much before then there will be plenty of practice snaps available to decide who his primary backup will be.
In the spring offensive coordinator Todd Haley spoke of the possibility of trying to preserve Bell more this season. Expect that to be dictated by circumstance, for one of these players to establish himself as the clear No. 2 and the others to be fighting for a place on the roster. Pass-catching ability is going to be key. It helped Toussaint become the primary back when Bell and DeAngelo Williams were out injured during the playoffs following the 2015 season.
Conner being healthy enough to fully practice for the first time since rookie minicamp is the biggest X factor here.