The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: What is your biggest takeaway from rookie minicamp?
You’re not going to learn a lot from rookie minicamp just by default, and much of what you do learn is going to have a short shelf-life of relevance simply because situations are going to change so much by the time a meaningful game is going to be played.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing of value to take away from what we are able to learn during that time, and personally I think we got some pretty good insight into some valuable topics right off the bat this year, even more than we might normally learn.
Part of that is because this has been a bit of an atypical offseason in that there was actually some coaching turnover. The Steelers chose to move on from their offensive coordinator, shifted one position coach to another role, and brought in three new ones in total.
And for me, the biggest takeaway from rookie minicamp was the impressions of the Steelers’ young defensive backs of new coach Tom Bradley, who was brought in this season to replace Carnell Lake after the latter decided to resign the post he’d held since 2011.
Both Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen, rookie draft picks in the first and fifth rounds, respectively, specifically praised Bradley and his teaching methods, as well as the level of detail that he puts into those methods. We had heard that this is the kind of coach he is, but there’s no more important validation than to hear it from the players.
Edmunds talking about how he worked at linebacker, and how both he and Allen worked in communications roles, was also notable, as was Jaylen Samuels mentioning that he is also working with the wide receivers.
I’m still hoping to hear more about Joshua Frazier and Chukwuma Okorafor, the two draft picks that we haven’t heard much from or about yet. I’d also like to hear from the position coaches directly soon, particularly Darryl Drake.