As the Pittsburgh Steelers open their Official Team Activities (OTAs) this week there will be no shortage of attention on any number of major story lines. From the rookies to the new free agents, we all want a glimpse inside of what is the beginning of the 2014 version of the Steelers.
From my perspective there will be several key words to pay attention to this week as the beat writers and journalists give their feedback from the OTAs.
Here are three words you need to look for over the next several days.
“Speed” – Clearly the theme of this year’s draft was to get faster and that literally included every draft pick and even the free agents they’ve signed. You will hear the term ‘speed’ a lot this week and it will be about a lot of different guys.
I’m anxious to hear thoughts on Mike Mitchell’s speed as well as that of rookies Dri Archer, Ryan Shazier and Martavis Bryant. But don’t think the talk will be limited to just those guys because there are plenty of veterans who rely on speed as well.
“Looks” – You’re going to hear this word a ton this week because this will be our first glimpse of a lot of the veterans and returning players. “Looks” will be used in several different ways as writers describe how Ben Roethlisberger ‘looks’ and how Cam Heyward ‘looks’ and how Le’Veon Bell ‘looks.’
In the above case, it will describe how each player’s physical appearance has changed or remained the same in some cases. Remember Ziggy Hood looking like a Greek God? That didn’t exactly turn him into an all-pro and off to Jacksonville he went.
The term “looks” will also be used to describe how players perform. He “looks” good and he “looks” slow and so on. Be prepared for a lot of that term this week.
“Learn” – This will be used in a variety of ways this week and will be used by both players and coaches alike. It may not always be the exact term used but you’ll get the gist when guys talk about learning the playbook, studying the offense and defense, etc.
You’ll hear this term a lot from coaches like Dick LeBeau, Keith Butler, Todd Haley and Richard Mann. Obviously, you’ll hear this from Mike Tomlin as well. Yes, I did that intentionally…
Coaches will not give up a ton of information which is pretty much status quo but the important part of these OTAs is in reality getting both the offensive and defensive terminology in these players’ heads. ‘Learn’ is probably a term that could be applied all season, but it will get a ton of play this week.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard weekly on Trib-Live Radio talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.