Starting Monday, football in shorts for the Pittsburgh Steelers will likely be few and far between moving forward as the players will be wearing pads for the first time during training camp.
On Friday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made it known that we can likely expect this year’s training camp to be just as physical as last year’s and he didn’t back down from that proclamation following Sunday’s weather-shortened session.
“It’s not football-like, it’s football,” said Tomlin when asked about what to expect on Monday. “So I know that there’s going to be a lot of people excited about doing that. I’m always excited about who ascends in those situations and who shrinks in those situations, and that’s just the reality of it. It’s a big step in the process, one that I’m sure we’re all excited about taking.”
Being as some hitting is expected, Tomlin was asked if there were any unwritten rules that are observed as it relates to who players can and can’t hit.
“I basically, particularly in the early stages, I kind of give them the rules, if you will, on a drill by drill basis, because I’ll change the pace or the etiquette per drill based on what the drill is,” said Tomlin. “The guys have done a great job with it over the years and really, they kind of come to us in that form now. The colleges do an awesome job of changing tempo and relaying that to players and players understanding it.”
As far as what the highlighted contact drill will be Monday, Tomlin refused to tip his hand, but did say a few of the players probably have a good idea.
“I’m’ sure they do [know], said Tomlin. “I haven’t relayed it them, but those that have been around me know enough about me to know I’m sure what those drills are gong to be.”
So tackling will be included, right?
“Yes. You guys always amaze me,” he told the media. “Tackling is an element of football. It’s like it’s a special treat. Tackling? Yes, tackling. We’re going to wear helmets and shoulder pads, too.”