Looks like that Ferrari is going to have to be kept in the garage a little longer.
Mike Tomlin announced Ladarius Green will begin training camp on PUP coming off ankle surgery the tight end underwent during the offseason. While Tomlin acknowledged he knew Green’s recovery could take this long, it doesn’t help the fact the Steelers’ biggest free agent signing of the year hasn’t taken a single rep in this offense.
Asked how quickly it might take Green and Ben Roethlisberger to get on the same page, Tomlin said the timeline varies.
“I don’t have the answer to that,” Tomlin told reporters today. “Sometimes that cohesion that you’re speaking of happens quickly in relationships. Sometimes it takes an extended period of time. I don’t know what it’s going to be for those two.”
Tomlin did comment that Green has been a heady player and active participant with the team even when unable to practice.
“Ladarius has been very attentive in the mental aspect throughout the spring and as we get into the summer, hopefully that aides him in his development. I know he’s done a good job of interacting and communicating with Ben in an informal manner. But there’s no substitute for playing and getting a feeling for one another.”
Tomlin declined to set a date for Green’s expected return, saying all PUP and injured players will be evaluated day-to-day. But with the team choosing to start him there, it signals they expect him to be out for an extended period of time, relative to camp. Several days, at the minimum, it would seem.
Not only will Roethlisberger have to get used to throwing to him, Todd Haley will have a shorter time to determine how he fits best into the offense. Only once as an offensive coordinator or head coach has Haley had an athletic tight end at his disposal, 2010 with Tony Moaeki. The leading receivers at tight end other years have offered names like Leonard Pope, Ben Patrick, and of course, Heath Miller.
Coaches can scheme things up to their heart’s content, you know I love the X’s and O’s of the game, but until you can watch it be executed in practice, it’s impossible to adjust or plan for any unintended consequences. And because the team hasn’t had a player of Green’s mold, receiver more than a blocker, it will make the adjustment that much tougher.