Good Monday to you Steelers fans.
Tomorrow begins the period known as “Organized Team Activities.” Or, as some refer to it as “Official Team Activities.” I’ll make it really easy and just call it OTAs. Now that that’s settled… This is the first time the veteran players will come together with the rookies and that leads to some very interesting possibilities which I’ll get to in a moment. OTAs this year are made up of 13 days of actual, on-field work. There will be some bumping and hands-on type stuff but if you’re looking for smashing blocks and hard tackles you can forget it. That type of stuff went out with the collective bargaining agreement years ago. As for what I’m looking for throughout these 13 OTAs? Well, let me tell ya.
- Who starts out at left tackle? Mike Tomlin is pretty old school. He rarely just hands a position to a rookie. So does that mean we should expect to see Dan Moore there while Broderick Jones earns his way forward? That’s my guess but Jones won’t be there long unless he really struggles to pick up things mentally.
- What about the interior offensive line? The Steelers added Nate Herbig, Isaac Seumalo and used a seventh round pick on Spencer Anderson who has experience up and down the line. I find this spot intriguing because current right guard James Daniels has center experience. Seumalo has played primarily right guard and the weakness of this unit last season was clearly the middle to left side. I’m really curious to see who lines up where.
- What should we expect from Matt Canada? In a word? Nothing. If Canada has all of the sudden comes out with new route concepts and different personnel packages then I would guess someone got a ‘talking too.’ But OTAs aren’t the place for such things. These sessions are about terminology and installation. I would be very surprised if any of the beat writers see vastly different things offensively from Canada.
- Who gets the nod at the slot corner position? With Terrell Edmunds in Philly and Arthur Maulet now a free agent, the Steelers need to address who takes on this vital role. Chandon Sullivan came over from Minnesota and there’s also Tre Norwood and perhaps even Levi Wallace or Patrick Peterson. Early on, I think it will all very on what package the defense is in before they settle on someone.
- What about those linebackers? Is it a foregone conclusion that Elandon Roberts and Nate Holcomb just plug right in? Is there a place for Mark Robinson or he is strictly a backup? Will Keanu Neal be that ‘Dime’ backer the Steelers like so much?
Tweet of the Day… This is very, very true.
Steelers twitter is a dangerous place in the offseason sheesh. I’ll stick to Pirates baseball
— Chas (@frazmoney93) May 22, 2023
Big Ben Says Big Things
Kenny Pickett joined Ben Roethlisberger on the latter’s latest podcast and Big Ben admitted he didn’t want Pickett to do well. This comment of course has many fans taking up sides. Give Roethlisberger credit for being honest. He was the QB for 18 years in one of football’s greatest organizations. Do we expect him to leave his ego at the door? Fans underestimate how difficult it is to walk away from professional sports for the vast majority of players. Seeing other, younger guys get all the attention is something that books and movies are about all the time. Roethlisberger went on to say he genuinely roots for Pickett and the team to do well. Is it something Big Ben could have said to Pickett off camera? Sure it is but Roethlisberger is getting really good at this podcast thing too. He knows what moves the needle and gets clicks.
A Great Run Ends
Way, way back when I first started blogging about the Steelers I also used to include thoughts on just about anything else that came across my mind. This is something I’m going to try and bring back in small doses. My son is currently in his final season of club soccer and this past weekend saw the end of a terrific run for him and his teammates. Last season, they became the first team in his club’s history to win the State Cup. This year, having moved up a division, we made a run to the quarterfinals where it ended in a 2-1 loss. There are a handful of games left to play within their league so at least we have that. If you’re a parent of a young person then believe me when I say “It goes fast.” He graduates next week and is off to college.
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