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By Andrea Hangst: Bleacher Report,
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened their 2012 training camp on Wednesday, and though we are presently just in the third day, there have already been things worth noting happening on (and off) the field.
Here are the biggest storylines of the Steelers’ first week of camp.
Mike Wallace Continues His Holdout
Unsurprisingly, wide receiver Mike Wallace has yet to report to training camp, as he has yet to sign the $2.7 million first-round tender the Steelers offered him earlier this offseason.
In the days leading up to the start of camp, both sides were negotiating heavily in hopes of getting to an agreement that the Steelers could afford and that could appease Wallace.
Wallace, who hasn’t been on the field with the offense at all this year, has yet to work with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Without this crucial piece of the offensive puzzle on the field, Emmanuel Sanders has been working as the Steelers’ X receiver in camp.
At this point, negotiations between the Steelers and Wallace have stopped and general manager Kevin Colbert confirmed that the last offer they had on the table has since been rescinded. This means that Wallace will have no choice but to sign the tender if he wants to return to the team; after that point, negotiations will begin.
It’s also important to note that as a player without a contract, Wallace cannot by fined by the team for his absence.
PUP List and Injury Updates
Currently, there are six Steelers on the active PUP list: running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee), linebacker James Harrison (knee), linebacker Jason Worilds (wrist), nose tackle Casey Hampton (knee), offensive tackle Max Starks (knee) and safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith (shoulder).
Tight end Heath Miller suffered a mild ankle injury on Thursday and rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta’Amu injured his foot during Wednesday’s conditioning test and did not participate on Thursday, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.
Offensive Line and Secondary Positional Battles Underway
On Thursday and Friday, the Steelers’ first-team offensive line was comprised of Trai Essex at left tackle, Willie Colon at left guard, Maurkice Pouncey at center, Ramon Foster at right guard and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle with rookies Mike Adams rotating in and out at left tackle and David DeCastro in the rotation at right guard.
The two early-round picks will be eased into the starting lineup before their workload increases in anticipation of one or both players ultimately winning a starting job.
In the secondary, where the competition is fierce for the starting cornerback duties that once belonged to William Gay, Keenan Lewis spent Thursday opposite Ike Taylor. Cortez Allen was used as the nickel cornerback.