Steelers Off-Season Training Should Have New Emphasis


The Steelers released the off-season training schedule of CBA-permitted use of facilities and practices. This year’s sessions have increased significance.

The offense was just getting on track last year, but the writing was on the wall for the defense. Change was coming and, boy, has it.

Some will say change is a good thing. I don’t really have an opinion on the good or bad. I just know sometimes it is necessary, as painful as it can be.

Dick LeBeau has moved on and so have Troy Polamalu and Brett Keisel. The list goes on. James Harrison remains, which for once seems like a sound decision. SOME veteran presence is needed.  Lawrence Timmons can’t hold it all down by himself, but I think he’s a great role model.

Players can be start using the facilities on Apr 20th and the ones who really need it are the ones coming into the league. But, they can’t take advantage of being in the facilities and working with the staff yet.  I think the draft dates hinder getting the newly drafted players into the system.

With the changes on defense and the challenges on offense with Le’Veon Bell’s three-game suspension (assuming he does not win his appeal), the Steelers need to emphasize team building and learning the game plan.

The offense may have to carry the defense a little more this year. That’s a scary prospect to me. Those first three games are going to be critical and the plan for those has to start now.

The off-season training has to emphasize a culture change because there are new leaders in the locker room. People like Polamalu and Keisel led by example and by being available for team mates when needed. Who will step in? Opinion vary and that’s fair.

I think the CBA puts the teams behind the power curve for creating team culture and assessing the talent they have acquired. When OTAs finally happen around Memorial Day, the coaches have to hope all their paper-bound plans work out.  Making adjustments at this stage can be like trying to turn a battleship.

This year the Steelers need to change their emphasis to dealing with change and increase the ability to make quicker adjustments.  I think it has to start with the strength training assessments and how they set up the individual training with the position requirements in mind.

Don’t they always do that? I used to assume they did, but based on some of the injuries, I am not sure that assumption is sound. Either way, the ability to change and adapt has to be factored in.

Change has come for the Steelers.  The offense may look the same, but don’t kid yourself. Large changes on either side of the ball affect everyone.

Next: Steelers Doing Homework or Serious About Perriman?

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