By Dale Grdnic
Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports
LATROBE, Pa. –When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Bruce Davis in the third round in 2008, they believed he would be an immediate contributor on special teams and pass-rushing outside linebacker for the future.
Instead, Davis played just five regular-season games, all in the first half of the year, and did not record a tackle. He was inactive for the final eight regular-season games, as well as the playoffs and Super Bowl.
“Last year didn’t go anything like I wanted, but I worked hard on the offseason and made a big improvement in the spring and so far in training camp,” Davis said. “I know there’s still a lot for me to learn, but I’m getting there.”
Davis plays the right outside backer spot behind James Harrison, the NFL defensive player of the year, so there aren’t many opportunities for him to get on the field in the base defense.
But he’s on every special teams unit and hopes to make an impact in that area this season.
“It’s a good place for me to start after the way things went for me last year, and I definitely want to make a big jump in my performance,” Davis said. “So, I’m just trying to get better every day and learn something every day, and I’m getting there. I worked out a lot harder after last season, and I’m ready now.
“I knew what I needed to do, so I went back to L.A. to work with my trainer to get physically ready to play on this Steelers’ defense. I worked with some DBs I know to work on my drops, and I got a lot stronger. I went to college with (4th-year pro) Jarred Page, who’s with the Chiefs, and he helped me out a lot.”
Some believe that Davis is among the young stars so far during this camp, including this writer, but he’ll need to keep up that performance to be a bigger contributor to the Steelers this season.
Any Way, Any Position
When talking with former South Dakota speedster Stefan Logan, the running back said he’ll do whatever it takes for him to make the Steelers.
He likely will play a large part in the club’s return game and possibly on other special teams units. At the Wednesday morning practice, Logan worked out with the wideouts, ran routes and caught passes during their individual drills.
Holmes Helps Out
Former Steelers inside linebacker Earl Holmes is a visiting coaching assistant for the week. He has some time before the college football season begins.
Holmes currently works for his alma mater, the Florida A&M Rattlers. The 10-year NFL veteran is the defensive coordinator at FAMU.
Walking Wounded and Others
Defensive end Sonny Harris was still working out on the sideline. He has missed several days now with an injury. Also, tight end Heath Miller (sports hernia surgery) and center Justin Hartwig (right big toe) have increased their workloads, but they have not yet rejoined the club for team drills.
Center-offensive guard Darnell Stapleton’s right knee has not improved, so a decision has to be made concerning him. Tomlin could address that following the afternoon practice.
Other than that, it seems like the Steelers are healthy. Hines Ward, James Farrior, Deshea Townsend and Troy Polamalu were given the morning off. Polamalu had his left hamstring and right calf iced, while Townsend had bags on both hamstrings.
The Steelers have an afternoon practice today and just one in the afternoon Thursday.
There is a morning special teams workout Friday and then a night session beginning at 7 at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium. Players will sign autographs at 6:45 p.m., with a nominal fee for fans to enter the stadium.