The Steelers renewed an annual tradition tonight, moving their practice under the lights of Latrobe Memorial Stadium, before possibly every man, woman and child in the town: Latrobe's population is around 7,600; more than 12,000 folks attended the practice.
It easy to see why the event is so popular, it has kind of a quaint charm to it. An entire NFL team -- superstars, millionaires and all -- board a fleet of school buses in their pads to get to practice, just like a JV squad.
The stadium is in the middle of the small town, and there is something fascinatingly hilarious about the juxtaposition of these massive men playing on a little high school field. It's like the WPIAL championships (high school kids playing at Heinz Field) in reverse.
Here are a handful of quick images from the evening ...
In the foreground, the Latrobe High Wildcats watch as the big kids get ready to practice.
Aaron Smith signs for fans during the autograph session that started the evening.
A living, breathing Coke commercial.
A well-turned ankle.
Not to belabor a point, but this guy has really lost some pounds. New nickname? Low-carb Snack.
Rashard Mendenhall tries to contain Ryan Mundy during a pass rush drill.
No surprise that James Harrison had the collision of the night, welcoming the newly signed Duane Wright to the team by nearly launching him into the Loyalhanna in a pass rush/block drill.
Estimated turnout was upwards of 12,000.
Friday Night Lights.
Roethlisberger looked sharp all evening; here he hits Arnez Battle for a 20-yard 'touchdown' during a team drill, one of two times he would connect with Battle for a 'score.'
Ziggy Hood and Maurkice Pouncey locked up a few times during pass rush/blocking drills.
Ryan Clark hams it up with a group of kids.
Tomlin presides over practice.