Steelers Mission, Rookie Starts, Hood’s Boy


The Pittsburgh Steelers are officially on summer vacation. They’ve wrapped up their minicamp and will head out to parts unknown for the next five weeks until reporting to the dorms of Saint Vincent for the Steelers’ 50th season of training camp in Latrobe. While the Steelers are enjoying their summer break we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Saturday, June 20th.

More from Steelers News

Offseason Mission Accomplished

There are always going to be positive things to say about “football in shorts”. It’s not like after the offseason workout concludes the players and coaches will come out and say, “I think a lot of guys really just phoned it in and we’re hoping they’re going to show up for camp.” Nevertheless, the Steelers do have a feeling of accomplishment at the conclusion of their offseason workouts program.

Mike Prisuta explains the Steelers concluded OTAs accomplishing what they had set out to accomplish. Even with the limitations of not being able to have much contact, if any, not using pads and just generally using the time for conditioning and instruction.

One area of the offseason workouts that can be most similar to real practice is the work done with the wide receivers and secondary. You can’t get much work done on the running game without pads on but you can sure have receivers run routes and see who in the secondary can keep up.

"“I think we made a lot of progress. For us it’s just about putting in work every single day and trying to get better. These days are very valuable because we get a lot of meeting time. It’s good to be around teammates working toward a common goal.” – Mike Mitchell"

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was pleased with the amount of work he got to do with his receivers. There was a lot of emphasis being placed on how much more of an active role Ben will be playing in the direction of the offense this upcoming season as he led many of the offensive drills himself this offseason.

"“I think so. It’s kind of hard to work on the run game when you don’t have pads on, so this spring has been a lot about throwing the ball. That’s not necessarily who we’re going to be offensively but it’s who we have to be right now.” – Ben Roethlisberger"

Voted most likely to start as rookies

The Steelers haven’t necessarily always been known for starting rookies on defense but times they are a changing. They selected outside linebacker Bud Dupree in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is making a case for why Dupree could end up a starter for the Steelers.

With the outside linebacking corps consisting of veterans James Harrison and Arthur Moats, Dupree has an opportunity to earn a spot if he has what it takes. Jarvis Jones will most likely start the season on the other side looking to rebound from his first two disappointing seasons.

Aside from Dupree, Fowler suggest that Senquez Golson could and up as a Steelers starter. He claims Golson is just what the Steelers need but his spot could be occupied by William Gay as there are many moving parts to the Steelers secondary at the moment.

Golson’s chances don’t only lie with his own abilities, but also with how Antwon Blake and Cortez Allen figure into the mix.

Ziggy’s Boy

Former Steelers DE Ziggy Hood wrote a very emotional and heartfelt piece for The Players Tribune about his life as a father of a special-needs child. He describes the days in the locker room for practice when players will bring their kids in to play around and bond with the other children and he’s often faced wit the question of why he doesn’t bring his son in.

"“I never really knew how to respond to that. What am I supposed to say, ‘My child has special needs and he can’t do the things that normal kids do because of I’m afraid of him getting hurt.’ I play defensive tackle in the NFL – this isn’t a profession where you talk about weakness that often. But every time I saw those little boys playing and making memories, I cried a little bit on the inside.” – Ziggy Hood"

Hood explains the emotions and frustrations he felt from hearing the news that his first born son might be born with Downs Syndrome to five years later and struggling to teach him mobility and motor skills. He often spends time blaming himself and second-guessing everything they may have done to have caused their son to have such a difficult start to his life.

He is still grateful for the experience of playing in the city of Pittsburgh and the access to the medical care his son, Josiah, received in the area.

"“Over the years, we found great people to surround Josiah with to help his progress. Today, I still believe that the Pittsburgh area was the best place for him because the medical professionals who helped him were on top of everything. It was so much more than a job to them. I knew they actually cared about my boy. Even though I’m no longer a Steeler, I’ll always  have gratitude for what that city did for me and my family.” – Ziggy Hood"

He goes on to explain that it’s been difficult for him to open up publicly about his son but he hopes to enlighten, empower and support other parents of special needs children who may be going through the same things. He and his wife have been active in HEAL, an organization that assists families of those living with special needs.

Next: Steelers Stats: Good, Bad and Meh

More from Still Curtain