The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the Saint Vincent College practice fields Wednesday for their first padded session of training camp and afterwards head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media to talk about what took place.
“Good start today in our pads,” said Tomlin. “Good energy. Ebb and flow, wins and losses, that’s all part of it. I like the spirit in which they worked. I liked the professionalism in which they worked. As we get into pads and we infuse physicality into this thing, it’s important that we have mutual respect and you can do that while being competitive and I like the beginnings of that today.”
It was another hot day in Latrobe and as a result, a few players were affected by it, according to the head coach.
“Had a few heat-related things today,” said Tomlin. “[B.J.] Finney wasn’t able to finish because of the heat. A few minor guys cramped there at the very end – I think Vince Williams and so, but that just comes with these days. We’re blessed to have these days. It’s good to get out here in a somewhat uncomfortable conditions and train. So hopefully we’ll have a few more muggy, nasty days to work in, because it’s just all part of the process.”
Tomlin didn’t have an update on safety Ross Ventrone (lower leg), who was injured during Monday’s practice. Ventrone was in a walking boot Wednesday and did not practice. Tight end Heath Miller was apparently given Wednesday off.
Tomlin was later asked why rookie linebacker Bud Dupree didn’t take part in Wednesday’s backs-on-backers drill.
“We had him on backers-on-tackles which is as equally significant,” said Tomlin. “We’re going to spread him around. You’re going to get a chance to see everybody do everything, I promise you.”
Tomlin was also asked to comment on the importance of the backs-on-backers drill and if he enjoys kicking the first padded practice of the year off with it.
“It’s just part of the process,” said Tomlin. “Obviously it’s a significant one, one that’s emotion-filled. So is the game.”