Part of practice is to work on individual fundamentals. But another section, especially when hitting is still outlawed, is dedicated to situational work. The Pittsburgh Steelers dedicated part of today’s first day of minicamp to their two minute drill.
The defense prevailed as William Gay intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger on the three, taking advantage of a miscommunication between quarterback and wide receiver Markus Wheaton.
Roethlisberger and Wheaton spoke to the media afterwards and chalked it up to a mental mistake but a teachable moment.
“Markus wasn’t quite sure what to do with where Will was and so he kind of broke his route early and he shouldn’t have. I’m glad it happened now. It was a really good teaching thing and that’s what this is for,” he told Steelers.com’s Mike Prisuta.
Wheaton was working out of the slot on the play and noted it’s still a position he isn’t entirely comfortable with. He’s expected to play there more in 2015 given the emergence of Martavis Bryant.
Gay’s football IQ showed on several of his interceptions last year and it ostensibly showed here. Free safety Mike Mitchell summed it up well.
“I think [Gay] got his second one off Ben today. It looked like Wheaton was breaking out and Ben thought he was going to curl up and Gay was doing what he does best, getting interceptions,” he told Prisuta.
Roethlisberger said he, Wheaton, and Gay talked about what they all saw after the play, something you’d expect two veterans to do.
For those ready to hammer out an angry comment Wheaton’s way – don’t. This is the time for mistakes and surely a common site around 31 other facilities. His willingness to learn from his mistakes with the helpful guidance from Roethlisberger and Gay is what’s most important to focus on here.