Latrobe, PA, a small town outside of Pittsburgh has been the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp for the past several years. Once again, the small college campus is drawing the Black and Gold to prepare for another season.
This year, however, is different than years gone by in more ways then one. Ben Roethlisberger is making headlines again; this time not for a near fatal motorcycle accident but for an alleged case of sexual assault.
Michael Vick was reinstated into the NFL just days ago and since then, rumors have been circulated that Pittsburgh may fit his needs perfectly. As of Friday afternoon, rumors had it that Vick was in the city and also checked out the Steeler practice facility.
Coach Mike Tomlin responded to both of these in his first press conference of Camp Tomlin, 2009. He dismissed the case against his number one man as just a civil case, and that Ben and his family will handle it themselves.
He made it clear to the surrounding media that the players were here to get ready for the season and no to worry about personal issues.
The head coach also responded to the rumors surrounding Michael Vick. He told the media that he had no idea if Vick was in Pittsburgh, but said that he, and the rest of the organization, was in Latrobe.
He added that continuing any discussion of possible free agents would be "fruitless" and that the organization would "be prudent and do our due diligence in terms of exploring people that can potentially help us win."
Speaking of winning, the Steelers are still defending Super Bowl Champions. The veterans all remember the summer and season after winning Super Bowl XL. Let's just say it didn't go so hot. Players and coaches are hoping not to let this year be a repeat of years past.
Any football fan who has followed the Steelers in years past would remember last year when nose tackle Casey Hampton reported to camp overweight and out of shape enough to fail the annual run test.
He was then added to the PUP list and did not participate until the last few days of camp.
That was not the case this year however. Casey, and everyone who reported to camp, successfully passed this year's run test.
Draft picks Ziggy Hood and A.Q. Shipley reported to camp with the team. In an interview with the local news; Shipley, a center out of Penn State, said him and his father had always ventured to Latrobe to watch practice in years passed, and he was excited that his father could come and watch him.