The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up the last of their 2019 OTA practices on Thursday and next up for the team is the annual mandatory minicamp next week. With OTAs winding down on Thursday and minicamp on the immediate horizon, former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch checked in on steelers.com to go over what all the team tried to accomplish the last three weeks and what the focus will likely be on during next week’s three practices.
First, Batch reviewed what all the Steelers worked on accomplishing during their last three weeks of OTA practices.
“Well I think it starts with installing the entire playbook, seeing what guys can absorb and seeing what they can retain,” Batch told Missi Matthews of steelers.com. “Because now as you close the OTAs, you get ready for minicamp and it’s almost a reverse, the cycle repeats itself. So, you just want to make sure that anything that you’re trying to do new, works, and if it doesn’t, you scrap it. And obviously at that point as you go close up next week, you’re getting ready for training camp and then you’re two weeks away from a game. So, this is important not only from a team perspective, but individuals as well.”
So, will the Steelers three mandatory minicamp practices next week intensifies any, or are they basically just three additional OTA practices?
“Well, it’s just a little different because you have two practices versus just the one practice that you have here [in OTAs],” Batch told Matthews. “So, of course a lot of things that you do in the morning, then in the afternoon, now you want to kind of switch it up. And of course you may add a two-minute drill in there, there’s some goal-line situations that you are going to do and those are kind of specific things that you want to go back and focus on. And you get a chance to do that in minicamp versus OTAs.”
After explaining the differences between OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Batch also provided some advice to the Steelers rookies and other younger players on the roster as they prepare for the final three offseason practices of 2019 before training camp gets underway in Latrobe in late July.
“Well, I think the one thing that they can’t do out here as you close the OTAs and in minicamp is to start counting the reps that you’re not getting,” Batch said. “Because when you start getting to that point, you’ve basically started eliminating yourself and you start cutting yourself from this team because you’re worried about things that you cannot control. Go out here, prove to the coaching staff, prove to the players that number one, you know the offense or defense. Number two, you can go out here and perform it and then at that point, you have to go out here and continue to make plays consistently.
“And if you do mess up, mess up at a fast pace versus you’re a little unsure, not sure what you’re doing. And those type of things lead to training camp, to the point where you’re saying, guess what, we’re two weeks away from the first day you report from a game being played. So, you want to make sure that the coaches can trust you to put you on a field, that you’re going to go out there and perform.”
Speaking of the Steelers 2019 training camp in Latrobe, Bob Labriola of steelers.com wrote Thursday morning that the team’s complete 2019 training camp schedule, with practice times and scheduled days off for the players, will be released at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12.