Organized team activities are voluntary but you wouldn’t know it if you paid a visit to the South Side.
During this year’s OTAs, nearly every Pittsburgh Steeler has fully participated, writes Trib Live’s Mark Kaboly. There have only been two players known to miss. Ryan Shazier and James Harrison were absent from last week’s last two practices.
With the new CBA restricting how often teams can practice, it’s heightened the importance of gaining these spring reps.
“Coach Tomlin said the first thing about getting better is showing up. That’s what guys are doing,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster told Kaboly.
For the veterans, it’s the time to pick up where they left off, getting a refresher in the offense to eliminate any rust. For the new additions, draft picks and free agency signings, it’s their time to soak up the playbook and become comfortable with the offense. For the players considered “camp bodies,” these reps are incredibly valuable, putting them in the best position to get noticed during training camp.
“There are more value placed on them because of the restrictions of not being able to get as many practices at training camp. Guys realize it is important to get out onto the field and get work in when you can,” said tight end Heath Miller, entering his 11th year with the team.
The Steelers will conclude OTAs at the end of the week before their three day, mandatory minicamp next week.