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Steelers notebook: Shoulder pads get technological boost for Ravens game

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson and Mark Kaboly
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 8:15 p.m.
 

• The Steelers will have a chip on their shoulder this season — two computer chips, in fact. Embedded in the players' shoulder pads, they will help create new statistical and player-tracking data. Each of the 15 stadiums that host Thursday night games, plus Detroit and New Orleans, are being equipped with sensors to read data. The Steelers play a Thursday night game Sept. 11 at Baltimore.

• The Steelers still don't know much about fourth-rounder Martavis Bryant, who has been plagued by minor injuries since spring. “He is big and fast, and he shows a flash every day,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “But we need to really accelerate that learning process. There's a lot on his plate right now, and it starts with being out here every day.”

• The training camp injury list keeps growing. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey took a hit to the head, and rookie tight end Eric Waters hurt his lower back. Running back Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) returned but was held out of team drills, as was wide receiver C.J. Goodwin (shoulder). Also not practicing were rookie linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (groin) and tight end Rob Blanchflower (ankle).

• Ike Taylor still can't believe Troy Polamalu took safety Shamarko Thomas to California to train last month. “People cry just to get Troy's autograph,” Taylor said. “But Troy took (Thomas) under his wing, took him out there to his home, just showing him how to work.”

• Rookie nose tackle Daniel McCullers (352 pounds) is the Steelers' biggest player since Casey Hampton. “Troy and I were talking, we're going to just walk up and give him a hug,” cornerback William Gay said of trying to stay on McCullers' good side.

— Alan Robinson

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