Steelers Minicamp: Tomlin Tuesday


The Pittsburgh Steelers took to the practice fields of their South Side facilities on Tuesday for the start of their three-day mandatory minicamp. The final phase in the offseason workout program. The team will spend these three days fine-tuning the drills and instructions for the rookies and impart with the players the conditioning and preparation they’ll need for the next month before they report to training camp.

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media following the first day of minicamp and he was brief but forthcoming on what the process of the minicamp is all about. The work the guys are doing on the fields now won’t look anything like what they’ll be doing in Latrobe once the pads come on but this is the building block on which the season begins.

Tomlin was asked about a scuffle at the end of the practice between center Maurkice Pouncey and defensive lineman Clifton Geathers. Tomlin explained that he doesn’t put much stock in early practice scuffles and it’s more about the violent nature of the game of football than any underlying issues.

"“It’s football. It’s obviously not something you embrace, but it’s an element that comes with the game. It’s an opportunity to teach more than anything, and that’s the way I approach it. Things are going to happen along the way, as we build this group, which will provide us with opportunities to instruct our guys on how to deal with situations when they occur in the fall. When it’s happening out here, under this setting, that’s the spirit in which I approach it. Obviously, if it happens later, this will be a different story.” – Mike Tomlin"

Maurkice Pouncey had a more simple explanation for the scuffle.

Quite possibly the biggest part offseason workout program is the instructional time for the rookies. In training camp, instructional time is relatively over and it’s time to put together the players that have the best chance of making the roster and making plays.

Tomlin explains what he learns from the rookies and new guys during the “football in shorts” period.

"“How they take in information how they learn, how they communicate, and whether or not they’re capable of learning from the mistakes or actions of others. There’s a lot of information you can gain about a young man in this type of setting.” – Mike Tomlin"

As far as the old guys in the group, to which Ben Roethlisberger is one of them now, a lot of attention has been paid so far during the offseason workout programs about the leadership role he has taken on. He’s leading drills, he’s instructing and teaching and he’s unquestionably the leader of this offense.

Tomlin describes how Ben has evolved into this role of teaching the younger players.

"“I think it has evolved in the nine years I’ve been with him, and it should. It’s a natural maturation process, not only in terms of him understanding what he’s doing, but also understanding the overall scheme and approach that we are taking offensively. We have some continuity in that area now. Coach (Todd) Haley has been here a number of years, so that’s something we should expect.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin only spoke for a few minutes so it’s not his usual “Tomlin Tuesday.” There’s a lot to be excited about this time of year. It’s going to be a long month waiting for training camp.

Obviously Count = 3

You can listen to Tomlin’s entire interview right here.

Here we go Steelers! Here we go!

Next: Steelers Mike Mitchell: Defensive X Factor?

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