Notes from Steelers Saturday practice

I made a trip up to Latrobe, PA to Steelers training camp on Saturday afternoon. I probably didn’t choose the best of days, but it was an overall interesting experience. Many players did not participate in Saturday’s practice; that list included Le’Veon Bell, Lawrence Timmons, Brett Keisel, Jason Worilds, and Jarvis Jones.

– Ben Roethlisberger and LaMarr Woodley have lost some pounds. Both look much more fit than last season.

– The punting battle is a very tight race. Brian Moorman and Drew Butler were both consistently good in Saturday’s practice. I’d imagine if the race stays this close, Butler will keep his job due to his young age.

– John Parker Wilson and Bruce Gradkowski looked sharp. Gradkowski connected with Emmanuel Sanders on an out route 20-30 yards deep.

– Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are both looking great. Sanders even managed to beat Ike Taylor on a go route, but Gradkowski was unable to put the ball on target.

– I was very impressed with Justin Brown’s college game tape, and I was impressed with his play in training camp. His ability to play special teams may push Plaxico out of Pittsburgh.

– Isaac Redman is noticeably quicker; he was exploding through holes on Saturday afternoon.

I was disappointed to not see Jarvis Jones and Le’Veon Bell; especially after hearing about all the praise Bell has been getting. Overall, the offense looks very sharp, especially the quarterbacks and receivers. Nothing on the defensive side of the ball really jumped out at me.