The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Who do you want to hear from as Phase 1 of the offseason program gets underway?
Today, April 15, begins the first day of Phase 1 of the offseason program, which pretty much largely just consists of players hitting the weight room. However, it marks an important turning point in the offseason because it’s the first time that many players are going to be in the facility, which means that we will get to hear from more players through the team’s website, something that is largely a scarcity during the months leading up to it.
It was a surprisingly uproarious offseason in Pittsburgh, the focus of which was mostly on the two players who are no longer here rather than the three players who were added via free agency. Well, not the only two players no longer here, but you know which ones I’m talking about, surely.
Everything at this point in the offseason is purely voluntary—nothing is ‘mandatory’ until minicamp, and then it’s off for a month before training camp starts—but many players still show up at this time of year to touch base and get things started, especially the linemen.
This year might see an especially active UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, not just because of the tumult of the offseason, but because of the disappointment of the year before. Despite what it may seem, this is a proud team that very much wants to right the on-field wrongs from a year ago, and in a sense, that process starts now.
It’s hard to guess who will be there, but aside from the obvious, like Ben Roethlisberger, who are the players that you would like to hear from as Phase 1 of the offseason program gets underway, and what is it that you want to hear from them?