LATROBE, Pa. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp:
The Steelers' second preseason game will be Separation Saturday for players who are battling for roster spots. The final week of practices at St. Vincent College will also be critical for players who are trying to emerge at their respective positions and make the team. "If somebody's going to make a substantial move it's going to happen this week," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Monday after practice. Players will get plenty of opportunities to distinguish themselves this week. The Buffalo Bills will practice against the Steelers Wednesday and Thursday at St. Vincent. The two teams then play a preseason game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, one day after the Steelers break camp. "We need to put an exclamation point on the remaining work here in Latrobe," Tomlin said. "We want to put them in as many positions as we can to evaluate them, give them an opportunity to show what they're capable of."
Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones followed up a one-sack showing in the Steelers' 20-16 loss to the New York Giants last Saturday night with a solid practice. Jones almost intercepted a pass when matched up against tight end Will Johnson in a one-on-one drill, batting the ball up in the air and nearly catching it. The second-year man also blew up a running play and batted down a pass in separate 11-on-11 drills.
Defensive Cameron Heyward appeared to practice angry, and it was no coincidence. Heyward blamed himself for the Steelers allowing a 73-yard touchdown run to Rashad Jennings in their preseason opener, and he played with an edge in the Steelers' first practice since losing to the Giants. Starting left guard Ramon Foster could attest to that. Heyward pushed Foster back so fast during a one-on-one pass-rushing drill that Tomlin had the two square off again. "What did you say Ramon?" Tomlin yelled after Heyward beat him badly. "You want another one?" Foster did a better job of standing his round the second time he and Heyward locked up.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Markus Wheaton teamed up for the play of the day. Wheaton ran a go route and caught a perfectly thrown ball after beating cornerback Antwon Blake down the right sideline. Roethlisberger got some work later running the no-huddle offense as the Steelers closed drills working on that attack.
Inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 3 but did not do anything aside from individual work. Shazier said he expects to play Saturday against the Bills. Tomlin said he held free safety Mike Mitchell and tight end Matt Spaeth out of practice because of "bumps and bruises." Both will practice Tuesday, Tomlin said. Tight end Michael Palmer (ankle) did not practice and wide receiver Justin Brown (thumb) was limited. Nose tackle Steve McLendon, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey each practiced after not playing against the Giants because of concussions.
The Steelers released running back Jawan Jamison on Monday. Jamison, who signed with the team after the start of camp, played just three snaps in the Steelers' preseason opener and did not get a carry.
The Steelers will practice from 2:55 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Chuck Noll Field.