Shorts and helmets were all that members of the Pittsburgh Steelers had on for the opening weekend of training camp. It was a relatively easy transition into what will a demanding three weeks of practice under the hot summer sun.
While the physical nature of football was lacking during the first weekend of camp, the mental preparation and competition was not. That is exactly how Mike Tomlin likes it, per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com:
I know that I’m excited about seeing some of these guys play and seeing what they are capable of and I know that they are excited about showing what they are capable of, and really the only way to do that is to play football.
I enjoy the spring and summer but that’s the spring and the summer. Now (that) we are here in training camp we are going to do what we do in this type (of) setting, which is compete.
Competition is key to building a deep roster, something that the Steelers lacked last season. There are 90 players competing for only 53 jobs with at least 35 of those spots already locked into place. That makes for many intense battles to earn a spot on the roster.
The Steelers may have just started camp, but camp battles have already begun to take shape. Here is an early look at the top position battles in training camp after the opening weekend of practices.