The Pittsburgh Steelers had an extremely large turnout for their first week of OTA practices this year and that’s a bit surprising with a large number of players expected to boycott them at the urging of the NFLPA. Even Steelers defensive captain and team union rep Cameron Heyward is in attendance this week and that was quite shocking. Also in attendance is one of the team’s oldest players, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, and on Thursday he was asked to describe what kind of benefits there are when it comes to him and others being present at OTAs.
“It’s beneficial for me as a vet to be here just getting the reps mentally, physically but I think it definitely helps out the younger guys that are coming in,” Alualu said. “Like I said, just kind of trying to show them the ropes of how we train, how we work out, how we take care of our bodies. And I guess just seeing how we play certain blocks or being there when they have questions about the defense, about different techniques.”
That’s exactly the benefits of an older veteran such as Alualu being in attendance for OTAs. Sure, OTAs are mostly for the younger and new players on the team but within that, they can learn faster perhaps by having veteran members of the team present as well.
Alualu just turned 34 years of age a few weeks ago and as a player that first entered the NFL in 2010, he’s certainly done his OTA time over the years. Even so, it shows great leadership on his part to present again this year. He can go through the paces for all I care, but the fact that he’s still on the field helping the younger players out is the biggest positive for him being present.
“So, I think it goes hand in hand where we can help each other out while we’re on the field,” Alualu said Thursday.