LATROBE, Pa. -- The scene was picturesque at the start of the Steelers' final training camp practice. The fans were engaged, the coaches were lively and the players seemed to have an extra pep in their step as they looked to end camp on a high note.
The scene temporarily changed, however, when Cameron Heyward, defensive captain, three-time All-Pro and the anchor of Pittsburgh's defensive line, stayed on the ground for several moments following the third play of Seven Shots, the Steelers' 11-on-11 drill from the three-yard line. Heyward eventually got up before exiting the field under his own power. He remained on the bench for a good portion of a practice before taking a cart ride off the field.
Heyward returned to the field following practice and told reporters that, upon being evaluated by trainers, he was fine. The news surely led to a huge sigh of relief for the Steelers, who played the majority of the 2021 season with two starters on the defensive line.
Aside from Heyward's scare, the final practice from Saint Vincent -- which took place in hot, humid conditions following several unseasonably cool days -- was a festive one that had the feeling of the last day of school. Players lingered on the field after practice, posing for pictures, signing autographs, and in cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon's case, throwing to young fans who ran routes down the near sideline of Chuck Noll Field. Mason Rudolph took individual and group photos with a large contingent of fans who took in the final day of camp.
Benny Snell was one of many #Steelers who accommodated fans during the final day of camp. pic.twitter.com/klv4knFiyn— BryanDeArdo (@BryanDeArdo) August 18, 2022
Speaking of practice, here are the main takeaways from Pittsburgh's final practice from Latrobe.
Offense wins Seven Shots
Similar to Tuesday's Seven Shots, the offense overcame an early deficit to net a 4-3 win over the defense. The comeback started when running back Jaylen Warren -- whose impressive camp has given him a strong case to make the 53-man roster -- scored on an inside run. The offense tied the score on the next play on Mitchell Trubisky's scoring pass to Pat Freiermuth, who also enjoyed a strong camp.
The offense didn't miss a beat when rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett came in on the next play. Pickett hit Anthony McFarland on a bubble screen for a score, then connected with Miles Boykin for another. Rudolph capped off Seven Shots with an impressive throw to Tyler Snead, who managed to catch the ball while staying in bounds for the score.
The Steelers weren't shy about their desire to acquire a mobile quarterback leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh was looking for a quarterback who had enough mobility to extend plays while allowing Matt Canada to expand his offense. The Steelers found such a quarterback in Pickett, who on Thursday used his mobility to complete the day's most impressive play.
With T.J. Watt bearing down during 11-on-11 drills, Pickett stepped into the pocket before delivering a strike to Christian Blake. Moments earlier Pickett was on the throwing end of the day's most impressive play. On his first play after stepping in for Trubisky, Pickett threw a quick but deep pass in the direction of Gunner Olszewski, who was fighting to separate himself from the defender. The pass was on the money, and Olszewski managed to make a diving catch while crossing the plane of the pylon for a score.
Earlier in the day, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced that Pickett will be the second quarterback to play during Saturday's preseason game against Jacksonville. Trubisky will once again be the starter, while Rudolph will replace Pickett at some point during the contest.
Harvin finds the fairway
It was another good practice for second-year punter Pressley Harvin III, who received a raucous ovation from the crowd after one of his punts appeared to hit the sun before succumbing to gravity. Along with working on his craft, Harvin said his new hobby -- golf -- has also helped him as he looks forward to a successful sophomore campaign.
"I think that's the biggest thing that kind of helped me with punting, just trying to find that same golf swing and the same thing with trying to find the same swing with punting," Harvin told CBS Sports after practice. "You work the muscle memory so much with practice, by the time you get into a game or on a course, it's natural to you.
"It's little off-the-field things like that that I've been trying to bring along to try to help correlate with concentration," Harvin continued. "Something different to get my mind going, learning something new."
Sutton takes time to reflect
You don't have to tell Cam Sutton that the NFL stands for "Not For Long." Sutton is one of five players who remain from the Steelers' 2017 team, his first season in the league. Back then, Sutton was looking to find his niche while playing alongside veterans that included fellow defensive backs Joe Haden and Mike Mitchell. Sutton is now the elder statesman of a defensive backfield that also includes former first-round picks Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds.
"It's definitely flying by," Sutton told CBS Sports after practice. "Being able to still be affiliated with where I started, which is really special to me. ... I want to continue to keep building my relationship with the team, the organization, the players coming in and out throughout the years. It's been special."
Sutton, who is embracing the leadership role that comes with being a veteran player, shared what he feels is the main pieces of advice he would offer to a first-year player.
"The biggest thing is your availability," he said. "That's one of Mike T's big slogans: 'The best ability is availability.' Within that, just taking care of your body. Be detailed in your work and handling your business, not just on the field but off the field. And just keep putting yourself around good situations and good people of the direction that you want to go in."