Though they don't officially break camp until after Friday, the public portion of the 2014 Steelers training camp, their 49th at Saint Vincent College, came to a close yesterday with the second of two combined practices with the Buffalo Bills, their opponent Saturday night at Heinz Field for preseason game number two.
This was the first time I'd seen one of these combined practices and while it was equally weird to see both another team on Chuck Noll Field and their fans milling around, it was also exponentially more entertaining to watch the Steelers compete against actual opponents rather than simply drilling with themselves ad nauseum. And, it made for one of the best fan turnouts of this camp.
Here are some pics from the late afternoon practice.
Unfiltered. It really is God's country out here.
The celebrity selfie is the new autograph, and Ike Taylor indulges some young Norwin Rams.
J. Peezy learns when you become a coach, only old men are interested in your autograph.
The view doesn't quit.
But they have Johnny Football now! Everything will be different, just you wait!
Justin Gilbert may become an All-Pro, but speaking of the Browns, methinks they'll regret not taking the gentleman above, Sammy Watkins, when they had the chance.
Markus Wheaton makes a grab.
Drills against an actual opponent was far more interesting than the norm.
Bills fans -- Why so serious?? Oh right -- no playoffs in 14 years.
Big Ben appears to have run into the head shrinker from Beetlejuice
The Steelers are clearly serious about getting faster on defense.
Best non-Steelers Pittsburgh T-shirt of the day
The principles of ball and baby security are the same: no fumbles or turnovers.
I have seen at least one person with a Steelers tattoo on nearly every trip to camp.
Big Steeler & a little kid.