Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey among veterans given day off at Steelers camp
During the Pittsburgh Steelers regular season under Mike Tomin, Wednesday traditionally has been Veteran’s Day.
In training camp, the holiday is spread out more evenly, and it began Sunday.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker Mark Barron were excused from the first padded practice at Saint Vincent. Cornerback Joe Haden took about half of his normal reps, and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward appeared to participate only in individual drills.
New QB-C exchange as Ben Roethlisberger and Maurice Pouncey each get the day off from practice on the first day in pads.
— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) July 28, 2019
Tomlin hinted other veterans will be given days off on a rotating basis so that not all the first-teamers are on the sidelines at once. Guards Ramon Foster and David DeCastro, tight end Vance McDonald, linebacker Vince Williams and defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt are other obvious candidates.
“We will rotate some of those veteran guys through this process — not only for their benefit but probably more importantly for the benefit of the young guys,” Tomlin said. “It gives them an opportunity to get additional reps. In many cases that’s what they need not only to learn but to show what they are capable of. So it kind of serves two purposes there.”
Josh Dobbs, Mason Rudolph and, to a lesser extent, Devlin Hodges split reps at quarterback. B.J. Finney was at center for the first-team offense with J.C. Hassenauer bumped up to the second unit in Pouncey’s stead. Artie Burns took Haden’s place as a No. 1 cornerback opposite Steven Nelson, and a rotation of defensive linemen filled Heyward’s void.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .