Strap on Those Pads: It's Steelers Mini-Camp Time!

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Strap on Those Pads: It's Steelers Mini-Camp Time!

A whole bunch of NFL mini-camps get underway today, about 24 teams. So if you didn’t think that the 2008 football season got underway with the draft you can rest assured it gets underway today.

Since I am obviously a Steelers fan, I’ll be focusing on them. But the mini-camp experience is much the same for all the teams.

Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Trib reports that the Steelers open mini-camp today at their South Side facility. They will practice twice today, two times Saturday and once Sunday. The team also has 12 organized team activities (OTA) scheduled for later this month and also in June.

When asked what he will be looking for from the rookies, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "Their level of conditioning, how much information they are capable of taking in in such a short period of time. Their ability to get on a moving train if you will. It's a mental toughness exercise more than anything."

Wow. You just have to love Mike Tomlin’s sound bites. ‘Their ability to get on a moving train.’

The Rookies will come into mini-camp today, and last year’s rookies will say thank god there’s someone else to pick on. I wonder if last year’s rookies will be the first ones to make Mendenhall, Sweed and the rest of the new crop carry their pads up the hill and dress up in a tutu singing “Tomorrow.”

The pros say that the first mini-camp is a chance to shake off the rust, re-focus and, if last season wasn’t a good one, get the bad taste out of their mouths. But I gotta believe that the Steelers will be jazzed. Last season the talking heads picked them as third-best in the AFC north. In the end, they won the division and barely lost in the playoffs with a brand new coach and system. Now they’ve got a year under their belt and some brand new offensive toys to play with. And the fans can spend the weekend fantasizing and talking about how great the upcoming season is going to be, man! Is this fun or what?

I’ll fill you in on more mini-camp news later in the weekend and until then, happy debating!

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