Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers’ recent statement signaling their intent of not participating in voluntary offseason activities, a dozen players showed up to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for strength and conditioning work, according to this article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.
“A dozen players showed up at the team’s South Side facility on Monday for strength and conditioning work.
More players are expected tomorrow, according to a team source.”
Monday marked the first day of the NFL’s offseason program.
Dulac does not name who those players were. It’s certainly plausible they were young players on the back end of the team’s 90 man roster attempting to get as much work in as possible during the offseason. Players who work out at their team’s facility are protected and covered if they get injured. Those who work out on their own aren’t offered that same injury protection.
Last Friday, the team issued the following statement through the union, saying conditions weren’t safe enough for them to appear in voluntary workouts.
A statement from the Pittsburgh Steelers players: pic.twitter.com/aVHvka6j8C
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 16, 2021
As Dulac also notes, most teams are responding to the idea of voluntary OTAs. Those events would take place with the entire team on the practice field. It’s unclear if the team was responding to also skipping any in-person team activity. Clearly, several players on the Steelers’ roster decided showing up to the South Side was the best thing for them to do.
On-field drills are slated to begin during Phase 2 of the NFL’s offseason program, taking place from May 17th to the 21st. The third phase, which includes OTAs and mandatory minicamp, runs from May 24th to June 18th. Training camp will begin in mid to late July.
The Steelers are among the growing list of teams to announce they were skipping voluntary workouts. That list is now over 20. As Matthew Marczi wrote about this morning, the league isn’t worried about the news.