Pittsburgh Steelers: Sneeking a Peek Inside Training Camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be entering the 2019 NFL season with a different mojo. They will be a team that doesn’t focus on the glamour. Pittsburgh will focus on winning games and playing together. Unity will be very important for this team because wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell brought a bunch of negative noise inside the locker room.

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They are both on different teams now. The Steelers finished last season with a 9-6-1 record. However, they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Thus Head Coach Mike Tomlin could very well be on the hot seat if Pittsburgh misses the postseason again. They have not won the Super Bowl since the 2008 regular season and the 2009 postseason.

Ben Roethlisberger will be the starting quarterback. Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs will compete for the backup job. Both of them are expected to make the roster. Rookie Devlin Hodges will look to snag a roster spot at the quarterback position.

James Conner and Jaylen Samuels will be the top two running backs on the roster. Conner had a very good year last season. Samuels was impressive in his start against the New England Patriots at home last season and he rushed for over 130 yards. These two guys could be a very good tandem this season.

Rookie Benny Snell Jr. will be a name to keep an eye on during training camp. Trey Edmunds, rookie Travon McMillian, Malik Williams, and Ralph Webb will compete for the final running back spot on the roster.

Roosevelt Nix will be the fullback on the roster.

JuJu Smith-Schuster will be the top receiver on the roster. There will be a massive competition when it comes to playing alongside him. Donte Moncrief, Eli Rogers, James Washington, and rookie Diontae Johnson are all expected to make the roster, but those four players will be competing for serious playtime. Ryan Switzer will most likely make the roster as the final receiver. Trey Griffey, Tevin Jones, Diontae Spencer, and Johnny Holton will look to try and snag a roster spot or two.

The starting tight end will be Vance McDonald. Xavier Grimble will most likely be the second tight end on the roster. Rookies Zach Gentry and Trevor Wood, Kevin Rader, and Christian Scotland-Williamson will compete for the final tight end spot on the roster.

Pittsburgh has one of the best offensive line units in the NFL. The starting left tackle will be Alejandro Villanueva, the starting left guard will be Ramon Foster, the starting center will be Maurkice Pouncey, the starting right guard will be David DeCastro, and the starting right tackle will be Matt Feiler.

Four rookies will look to snag a roster spot or two on the offensive line between Derwin Gray, Fred Johnson, Garret Brumfield, and Damian Prince. Veterans Chukwuma Okorafor, Patrick Morris, B.J. Finney, and Jerald Hawkins will look to snag some roster spots as well as backups along with J.C. Hassenauer and Zach Banner.

The Pittsburgh Steelers play a 3-4 defensive scheme. Although their front seven is not bad Pittsburgh’s secondary was a problem last season. Indeed, their defense has not been the same since linebacker Ryan Shazier went down with a serious injury in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on the road a couple of years ago.

Cameron Heyward, Javon Hargrave, and Stephon Tuitt will be the starters on the defensive line. Therefore, rookie Isaiah Buggs, Daniel McCullers, and Tyson Alualu will be the backups and see some playing time on the defensive line as well.

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Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt will be the starting outside linebackers. Watt was solid as a rookie last year. Anthony Chickillo and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi will be the backups at outside linebacker.

Vince Williams and rookie Devin Bush will be the starting inside linebackers. Tyler Matakevich, Mark Barron, and rookie Ulysees Gilbert III will most likely make the roster as backups. Tegray Scales and rookie Sutton Smith could steal a roster spot at that position as well.

Joe Haden and Steven Nelson will most likely be the starting cornerbacks. There will be a massive competition for the final three cornerback spots on the roster. They will be between Mike Hilton, rookies P.J. Locke III, and Justin Layne, and Marcelis Branch.

Sean Davis and Terrell Edmunds will be the starting safeties. Cameron Sutton and Marcus Allen will be the starting safeties. Rookie Askew-Henry will be a name to keep an eye on during training camp at the safety position. Brian Allen and Jordan Dangerfield will also compete for a roster spot at the safety position.

Jordan Berry and rookie Ian Berryman will compete for the starting punter job. Chris Boswell and rookie Matthew Wright will compete for the starting kicker job. Kameron Canaday will be the long snapper.

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Ryan Switzer will be the main kickoff returner and punt returner.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin training camp on Friday, July 26. Then they will have their first preseason game on Friday, August 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. Finally, Pittsburgh will open the season on the road against the New England Patriots on Sunday, September 9. That will be the same night that New England raises its sixth Super Bowl banner. The Steelers have the same amount of Super Bowls as them and they will look to win its seventh Super Bowl Title this season.

Where do you think the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in 2019? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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