By Jeremy Hritz
Day # 2 of Steelers Training Camp, and time for another edition of Study Notes:
- As you already know, Vince Williams has retired, and a player who was deeply entrenched in the folklore of the team will be deeply missed as not only a ferocious player, but an emotional leader on the field and in the locker room. While Williams play last year had waned, he still had the ability to energize his teammates with a big play. No doubt, his personality will be missed.
- Now that the ILB room is one player less, what are the ramifications? While there has already been speculation that the team will pursue Avery Williamson whom had a short stint with the Steelers last season, there is no reason to move on that just yet. With Ulysses Gilbert, Buddy Johnson, and Marcus Allen, the team should let things play out with the depth in camp before pursuing a free agent ILB. The bigger question for me is which player on the defense steps up and becomes more of a vocal leader in the place of Williams?
- In continuing the discussion of inside linebackers, Devin Bush has been cleared to practice per a Gerry Dulac Tweet. This is tremendous news, as Bush’s health was a concern following his ACL tear, and to know his rehabilitation has been successful enough for him to start camp eligible to practice, is encouraging. Now, if we can just keep him off Twitter…
- You may have forgotten that earlier this year, the NFL ok’ed it for players to wear any numbers they’d like. New OLB Melvin Ingram took full note of this and will wear #8 this season with the Steelers. While we are talking numbers, new Steelers guard Trai Turner will wear 51, the same number being worn by rookie ILB, Buddy Johnson.
- After being released following the signing of Ingram, Calvin Bundage has been re-signed by the Steelers. I am a fan of Bundage and am glad to see him back with the team and what he can do in training camp. Bundage fills the roster spot vacated by Williams’ retirement.
- The NFL is tightening up their protocols for COVID in the upcoming season. If a team cannot reschedule a game during the season due to a COVID outbreak, they will have forfeit, and it will count as a loss. Super-incentive for teams to ensure 100% vaccinations. Good thing the Steelers have one of the highest vaccination rates.
- Ben Roethlisberger was caught sporting a shirt that read “Sevenge” in camp today (Thursday). Think he’s not motivated to prove the naysayers wrong?
- Finally, the USA Today released their win/loss projections for the 2021 season, and the results are as follows for the AFC North: 1) Browns – 13-4, 2) Ravens – 11-6, 3) Steelers – 7-10, and 4) Bengals – 6-11. The non-believers continue…
That is all for this Thursday! Make it a great day!