5 Questions Steelers Will Answer During Week 2 of Training Camp

Pads come on and the Pittsburgh Steelers 'real' training camp begins.
Publish date:

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers head to Heinz Field for the second week of training camp that's sure to excite and hopefully answer more questions than Week 1 did.

Head coach Mike Tomlin promised this week is when the Steelers "turn up the volume." Presumably, that should mean more contact and more understanding of what to expect from this team.

"That really signifies the start of training camp, if you will," Tomlin said on moving to Heinz Field.

If this is the starting line, the Steelers need to begin answering some questions. And during Week 2, these are the five you want to keep an eye on.

What's Antoine Brooks' Health?

Brooks and Arthur Maulet are the team's nickelbacks right now. Tomlin said early in the week that it would begin with those two and that the Steelers would add more names if they felt they needed to.

Both had impressive moments in Week 1, especially Brooks. When you have Ben Roethlisberger come over to you and say your interception was "the best slingshot I've ever seen by a DB," you have an early lead in the competition.

But Brooks' week ended early. The second-year defensive back left practice on Sunday with an injury. Tomlin described it as "nonserious," but until he's back on the field, it's a concern.

How Good is Tre Norwood in Pads?

Everyone keeps talking about Norwood's potential and his intelligence on the field. Many are already comparing him to Cameron Sutton, including his defensive backs coach Teryl Austin.

"Really impressed with how fast he picks things up," Austin said during minicamp. "Right now, he's playing a little nickel and little safety, a little bit of everywhere. He handles it really well. I don't think it's too big for him."

The only concern is how well he'll handle the contact of the NFL game. Norwood is listed at XXX and does look smaller than most on the field.

When pads come on, he's a player to watch.

Anthony McFarland?

Look, McFarland - outside of Najee Harris - has been the most impressive running back so far. But really, all he's doing is Eddie Faulkner running back drills and footwork.

McFarland appears to be the player who's made an impressive second-year leap, but that won't be determined until pads are on. How well he can hit wholes in full-speed and how physical he'll be in year two will be the determining factor of his role this season.

Can Kendrick Green Adjust to Phase Two?

With J.C. Hassenauer hurt, Green is the starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The only concern, he has almost no experience at the position and at some point, that might start to show.

Not screwing up play calls is good when you're in shorts and helmets, but the Steelers need to see it transition into a faster game. Once everyone's hitting and Green has to read a defense that's coming at him full speed, things will change.

Let's see how well the rookie can keep it together.

James Pierre's Second Interview

There's plenty of hype around Pierre, but none of it means anything until he's hit in the mouth by Chase Claypool during a live scrimmage.

Someone needs to step up as the team's backup cornerback and Pierre seems to be that guy. The Steelers utilize him more than the rest and there's a sense he's already the favorite to be the No. 2.

If that keeps up as they move into Week 2, it's a good sign they have their rotation between Sutton, Joe Haden and Pierre. But it's still a question mark. 

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.

You May Also Like:

What to Expect From T.J. Watt's Contract Extension

Steelers Closing in on T.J. Watt Extension

Trai Turner on Replacing DeCastro, Alan Faneca, Steelers

Unvaccinated Steelers to Wear Indicators

Alex Highsmith on Learning From, Competing With Melvin Ingram

Steven Nelson Signs With Eagles

Steelers Add Antoine Brooks Jr. to Injury List

Mike Tomlin Talks First Training Camp Fight, Injuries

Steelers Hit With Pair of Injuries at Center

Melvin Ingram on Health, No. 8 and Alex Highsmith