The defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their first mini-camp of the season on Sunday, and third year coach Mike Tomlin was very pleased with a successfull camp.
Coach Tomlin looks at mini-camp as a time to instruct players, especially rookies, on the basics of Steeler football, and the playbook. When the minicamp came to an end, Tomlin energetically expressed his views on the camp as an extreme success.
The entire team was thrilled that no serious injuries took place during these 3 days. The only new injury is a sprained ankle on the left foot of Mewelde Moore, after stepping on another player's foot.
Despite there only being one new injury, several players did not participate due to previous injuries or operations. Long snapper Greg Warren and Punter Daniel Sepulveda, practiced lightly due to the ACL injuries that sidelined the two of them last season.
With his brand new 22 million dollar contract, the Super Bowl XL MVP, Hines Ward still practiced lightly due to the knee injury that gave Santonio Holmes the oppurtunity to shine in both the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XLIII.
Ryan Clark is also coming off a shoulder injury that worsened throughout the playoffs as he decided to play through it. These players are expected to be good to go for opening day at Heinz Field.
Willie Parker has had sore legs and knees, and in an attempt to get himself as healthy as possible, he has started doing some yoga and pilates to make him more flexible.
The Steelers have high expectations for their second year players. Running back Rashard Mendenhall, wide receiver Limas Sweed, and Linebacker Bruce Davis, all hive higher expectations. Mendenhall is returning from injury and will be one of the Steelers' four tailbacks.
Limas Sweed will probably be replacing WR Nate Washington who was signed by Tennessee. And LB Bruce Davis, who did not record a single statistic last season, will be used more on special teams, and fight for a backup OLB position.
The Steelers also look for QB Dennis Dixon to step up and become a better QB. They also practiced him in the Wildcat a little bit. At Oregon in 2007, Dixon threw 20 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions. His arm is underrated, but what he is known for is his mobility and running ability.
At Oregon they had the 1-2 punch with Dixon and Jonathan Stewart running the ball. Dixon ran for 5.6 yards per carry and 9 touchdowns. Leave me a comment on how the Steelers will do next season.