The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
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: Will the Steelers conduct their training camp at Saint Vincent College this year?
The Steelers and Saint Vincent College have the second-longest standing relationship between an NFL team and its off-site training camp destination in the league, behind only that of the Green Bay Packers and their partnership.
The Steelers have headed to Latrobe for several weeks in the Summer every year for decades upon decades. But a hopefully no more than once-in-a-century phenomenon is threatening the possibility of that happening in 2020.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, head coach Mike Tomlin yesterday acknowledged that the team is exploring its options in terms of how to conduct their training camp this year, and they are far from the only team taking this approach, even if most now hold their training camps at their own practice facilities.
The bond that exists between the franchise and the city of Latrobe is enormous and intersects through a number of different threads, not the least of which is the economical component of the Steelers and their fans driving business into that community for the weeks they are there.
Even if they are able to hold training camp at Saint Vincent College, however, one would imagine that there is still a very real chance that fan attendance will be limited, at best, if it takes place at all, so that would still be a burden on the local economy that so thrives during the time the team is in town.