Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers opened training camp to all players July 25th, and after the first day of practice Mike Tomlin sat down to address the media. One of the questions going to the Steelers training camp is which running back will take first team reps? Would it be Le’Veon Bell or DeAngelo Williams? Coach Tomlin reassured everyone that Bell would still take first team reps. When asked if he had heard from the league on any ruling in Le’Veon Bell’s appeal, he quickly answered no. He briefly talked about Bruce Gradkowski starting the year out on the PUP list due to a shoulder injury. Coach Tomlin said that he’s excited, the team is in great physical condition. Expect him to touch on position battles as training goes.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings also opened up training camp this weekend. Head Coach Mike Zimmer, Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson were taking questions from the media. When Peterson was asked about how he feels coming back, he stated that “I feel good, it was good to spend time with family last year, but I did miss being out there with my guys.” When asked about his contract restructure a few days ago, he simply said “I’m happy, happy to be here and happy to be a Viking.” Teddy Bridgewater chimed in on having Peterson back, “He’s a great player, he’s established himself as one of the best backs to play the game and teams know what he’s capable of.” Coach Zimmer pointed out that Adrian Peterson will get the majority of first team reps, despite missing 15 games last year. He noted that Adrian Peterson was in great shape, and seems just as excited to get back into the swing of things.
These two teams will play each other for the HOF game August 9th. Here’s what I’m looking for from both teams.
Steelers: I want to see if other receivers out of the Steeler receiving core can step up. We know Antonio Brown will be great, but can Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton step up? If not, it can cause problems for the Steelers passing game, especially the first three games when, as of now, they will be without star running back Le’Veon Bell. Also, if I’m in an IDP league, I want to see if rookie linebacker Bud Dupree can be a playmaker. He’s going to be the one of the best players on the defense if he transitions well to the pros.
Vikings: I want to see who will play wide receiver most. I believe Mike Wallace will be the No. 1 guy, but No. 2 will be a good battle between Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson. I also want to see how Bridgewater can play with a great running back behind him. Finally, I want to see if the Vikings defense may be worth taking. Before you call me crazy, hear me out. These guys are good on paper. Up front they have Everson Griffen, Chad Greenway, and Anthony Barr. For defensive backs they have Safety Harrison Smith, and drafted Cornerback Trae Waynes. They are not a great defense like the Seahawks, but I want to see if they’re a draftable defense.