The Pittsburgh Steelers completed minicamp with a full practice last Thursday. It was clear that head coach Mike Tomlin wanted to set the tone for the start of training camp, which is just over one month away.
Tomlin has plenty of work to do with his team after two consecutive missed playoff appearances. He has a roster full of young players eager to help lead the team back to the playoffs. Early indications are that the team is coming together nicely, but Tomlin told Bob Labriola of Steelers.com that you must exercise caution when making evaluations when playing without pads:
They have done nice, but again you can convince yourself of anything this time of year. I’m not interested in telling the story to myself. I just simply roll the ball out and provide opportunities for guys to improve. I’m not trying to measure it too much because it is what it is. This isn’t football. It’s football-like, and it’s a great opportunity to prove and learn and develop game cohesion and understanding. That’s what this is about as opposed to evaluating performance.
Without any formal practices until the team arrives in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, players will have to spend time training and learning the playbook. This will be particularly important for the rookies as several—Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt and Dri Archer—will have an opportunity to contribute early on.
Besides new personnel, there will also be shifts in schemes, particularly with the offense.
Todd Haley plans to use more of the no-huddle offense this season, and Ben Roethlisberger is more than ready for this style of attack. However, with all of the new offensive weapons on the roster, everyone must quickly get up to speed for it to be an effective approach.
The Steelers are far from being a finished product, but they have provided us with a taste of what to expect this upcoming season. Therefore, as training camp approaches, here is the latest buzz surrounding the Steelers.