On Tuesday the Pittsburgh Steelers will begin the third phase of the Offseason program and that means a first chance for the rookies to get involved with veterans. It also means it’s our first opportunity to get some questions addressed although getting them answered will be unlikely at this point.
Let’s first address what is happening. Phase Three looks like this.
OTA offseason workouts: May 23-25, May 30-31, June 1, June 5-8
Mandatory mini-camp: June 13-15
During this time there can be no contact. Players may be allowed in 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 situations.
This is a great chance to see the rookies have to deal with the real speed that the veterans will bring to the table. The rookie mini-camp was just them and many tryout players. This, as they say, is the real deal. That leads me to the first of the questions that we are posing today.
Which Rookies Do We Expect to Make the Biggest ‘Splash’ During This Period?
Let’s remember this is still a lot of work that doesn’t involve any contact. You can only make so much of an impression without bringing some physicality. That said, all eyes will be T.J. Watt. He needs to show he can play with the top unit both athletically and mentally. Without the pads, the mental part of the game during these practices is immense and can be overwhelming. If Watt can handle that then he stays on course to be a significant contributor.
The other guy who will be under the spotlight is James Conner. He is in better shape and is lighter than he’s been in sometime and he needs to show he has the athleticism to replace Le’Veon Bell. We’ll good a very good idea of where he is at over the coming weeks. Oh… He’s also the ‘feel-good’ story of the Steelers so far in 2017.
What Can We Expect From Senquez Golson?
Right now, Golson is training in Orlando with legendary trainer Tom Shaw. All expectations are that he will attend OTAs but remember the only ‘mandatory’ ones are in mid-June. That said, I think it would be ridiculous for him not to be there.
Golson needs every rep he can get with teammates in order to get himself re-acclimated with them in order to give himself the best, possible opportunity to play. Fans have to remember that when you miss two full seasons of professional football it’s tough to just get it back over night.
All we can hope for with the former second round pick is that he remains healthy and is ready to go for training camp.
What About Martavis Bryant?
Bryant will be at the facility as things begin on Tuesday so that’s a start. There will be no shortage of eyes on number ten as he gets back with the Steelers on the field in an official capacity for the first time in over a year. What you have to be careful of is falling back in love too soon.
Every time Bryant makes a move there will be no shortage of tweets and over-excited comments about what he is doing. We already know he is as athletically gifted and will display that on numerous occasions. Just take it all with a grain of salt. It’s just OTAs after all.
Those are just a few of the things we’re keeping an eye on as the Steelers enter Phase Three.