REPORT DATE: July 25th
SITE: Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA
CAMP OBJECTIVES: The offense figures to be the main focus when the Steelers hold their 47th consecutive training camp in Latrobe, with former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley now taking over as coordinator and the front line expected to undergo a major reshuffling. Pittsburgh used its first two picks in April's draft on offensive linemen, plucking Stanford's David DeCastro and Ohio State's Mike Adams with early selections, and the rookies loom as the early favorites to grab starting jobs at right guard and left tackle, respectively. Second-year man Marcus Gilbert will take over full-time at right tackle in addition, shifting the oft-injured Willie Colon to left guard provided he's over Achilles and triceps tears that have limited to just one game over the past two seasons. Change will be taking place at running back as well, with capable reserve Isaac Redman now the main man with Rashard Mendenhall still recovering from a torn ACL suffered back in January, and his elevation creates an opening for youngsters Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay to claim the primary backup role. Veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton will also miss most or all of camp while making his way back from knee surgery, with either former practice-squad member Steve McLendon and massive rookie Alameda Ta'amu (4th Round, Washington) to hold down the fort in the meantime, while 2011 draft picks Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown will both be trying to claim the vacant nickel back spot in lieu of William Gay's offseason departure. The contract status of Mike Wallace is also a situation to monitor, as the big- play wide receiver has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender and could stage a holdout as leverage in order to secure a long-term deal.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug. 9 - at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 - vs. Indianapolis, 8 p.m. Aug. 25 - at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Aug. 30 - vs. Carolina, 7:30 p.m.