For several years now, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has started off the third week of OTA practices by taking his team on a field trip to the local Dave & Buster’s in order to build some team unity. While many might view that action as being trivial, veteran safety Will Allen sees the value in it.
“Coach (Mike) Tomlin is affording us the opportunity to grow closer,” said Allen, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “Different groups of guys get together here. Maybe the defensive backs will hang out with the offensive line, however the combination will be. He is allowing everyone to mingle and get to know each other a little bit and let some competitive juices come.
“You get to know people in a more in depth way. You have pockets of guys who hang out together, now everybody hangs out together.”
If anyone has the right to have an opinion on the value of Tomlin’s annual team-building function it’s Allen, who is entering his 12th year in the year and 6th with the Steelers. The veteran is perhaps one of Tomlin’s favorite players on the roster because of the way that he prepares, leads by example and the unselfish attitude that he possesses.
The Steelers are allowed 10 OTA practices during the offseason, according to the CBA, and while Tomlin chooses to use one of those practices to play electronic games instead of working on football plays, it’s obvious that he sees value in doing just that and there’s no reason to think that this annual tradition will be changing anytime soon.
In case you missed it, the Steelers official website has some video from the team’s Monday field trip posted along with several photos depicting the fun the group had.