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 be permitted to admit a select number of fans to training camp practices at Heinz Field?
The Steelers announced yesterday that their intention is to host their training camp practices this year at Heinz Field itself, rather than at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex practice facilities, after the league ordered that all teams host training camp at their own facilities rather than at off-site locations.
The Steelers have hosted a training camp practice at Heinz Field here and there in recent years. Of course, fans were invited to attend. But there wasn’t a pandemic then. While baseball is back in Korea, they are currently playing in front of a plush Spongebob Squarepants, among other similarly fluffy but sadly inanimate anthropomorphized objects.
While the NFL continues to say that it has every intention of conducting the 2020 season with a full compliment of fans, we are still far away from knowing whether or not that will be realistic. States around the country are still working their way back to the early stages of ‘re-opening’, which includes the San Francisco 49ers’ region and prevents their coaches from reporting to their facilities.
Needless to say, if permitted, Heinz Field would be a much better venue for hosting attendees of training camp practices than would the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. I choose to take this is a positive sign that the Steelers feel this is realistic when the time comes.