LATROBE (KDKA) — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was vague as camp in Latrobe closed Thursday as to how much the starters will play Saturday in the home pre-season debut against Buffalo.
“We’re going to play the first team more, obviously,” Tomlin said. “Really hadn’t looked at the snap allocation, but rest assured that we want to give more exposure to those guys in the football game.”
Steelers wrapped up their final public practice at St. Vincent College as they worked for a second straight day with the Bills.
“It’s going against another defense,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of the joint practices. “A 4-3 defense that our defense doesn’t run very often.”
Maybe only the diehards know his name, but Greg Warren has played in 133 games with the Steelers as their long snapper and will sit for about a month with a meniscus injury. Signed as an undrafted rookie out of North Carolina in 2005, Warren will be replaced initially by Bryce Davis. “It doesn’t get a lot of attention unless it’s negative,” Tomlin said of long snappers. “Got a great deal of respect for what Greg is capable of and the importance of the position.”
The Steelers also added long snapper Luke Ingram out of Hawaii. Ingram spent time at Steelers camp last year before being released.
Only linebackers Jarvis Jones (groin), Ryan Shazier (knee bruise) and Vince Williams (concussion) are questionable for Saturday. All others are expected to play according to Tomlin. Shazier returned to practice Thursday. Both teams appeared to get through Thursday’s practice without any injuries.
Ike Likes Martavis:
Steelers corner Ike Taylor told the Fan Morning Show, “he has the talent you can’t coach. He’s faster than what you think, he’s 6’4” and he can high-point the ball.” Taylor said they haven’t had a receiver like Bryant since Plaxico Burress in his prime. “He wants to get better,” Taylor said. “It just takes time, like it took Santonio (Holmes) time to get better. If you want to talk about an athletic guy who’s humble and willing to work, Martavis came to me and said ‘what do you see’, ‘what do you think I need to do’. Martavis is going to be fine.”
While the Steelers ownership remains headed by the Rooney family, the death of Ralph Wilson in March has left questions for the future of the Bills in Buffalo. Bills President Russ Brandon was in Latrobe Thursday saying only the process is on going. “We know the level of interest,” Brandon said. “We also appreciate the private nature of this going forward.” There is no timetable for a decision on Bills ownership. Billionaire Donald Trump, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and Penn State grad and Sabres owner Terry Pegula are all interested. Bills fan groups are worried about the team moving to near-by Toronto or potentially Los Angeles.
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