The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their training camp sessions since 1966. While the vast majority of the legwork of building the 90-man roster is done, there is always some fine tinkering to do. Now it’s time to figure out who is worthy of a roster spot, and what their role will be.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they’re bound to have new starters.
How will those position groups sort themselves out? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in practice? Who is sitting out due to injury?
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: How long will Ray Sherman stay on board with the Steelers?
Ray Sherman is, or at least appears to be, a semi-retired former NFL coach, with an extended background in coaching the wide receivers. He once had a brief dalliance with the Steelers once upon a time, but little more than that.
Last coaching a few seasons ago, Sherman just so happened to be in attendance at Latrobe with the Steelers this year when the untimely passing of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake struck the organization like a bolt of lightning.
The team canceled practice that day and the next, returning to Chuck Noll Field, and when they did, it was Sherman, along with coaching assistant Blaine Stewart, in his second season with the team, who took upon the task of running the wide receivers through their individual drills.
Head Coach Mike Tomlin told reporters prior to practice that they have a somewhat informal plan about what they will do with the wide receiver position, but he gave no details, and Sherman’s name was not even mentioned, though it was previously known that he was around the team prior to yesterday.
We still don’t know what that plan might be. There might not be anything finalized right now. All we know is that Sherman was working with the wide receivers yesterday. I would imagine that he will work with them over the course of the next two days to close out training camp as well.
Beyond that? Is he going to follow the team back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex? Is he going to be hired for this season? It should be noted that he is 67 years old, though Richard Mann was in his age-66 season when he was hired by Tomlin in 2013.