Steelers News: expectations, gaps, policy


The Steelers are wrapping up their last week of training camp in Latrobe prior to their preseason home opener against the Green Bay Packers. While the Steelers are sweating in the hot Latrobe sun we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Friday, August 21st.

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Big expectations for the big guys

Coach Tomlin addressed the media following the second-to-last training camp practice the Steelers will hold at Saint Vincent College this year. They’ll have their final training camp practice on Friday and checkout of the dorms on Saturday morning.

While he described the good work he saw out of the group over the course of the last few weeks he also described the high expectations put on groups like the offensive line; who has the most continuity of all the units returning this season.

"“They have done some nice things but we expect them to. We have some continuity in that group, not only in terms of the players but also the coaching. Good to have Mike Munchak back with that group. The sky is the limit for them and I guess you can include Marcus Gilbert in that group as well. These guys are not young anymore. They are moving into the prime of their career and they have done it together, so we have a lot of expectations regarding that group.” – Mike Tomlin"

Somehow I picture Mike Adams standing on the side overhearing Tomlin describing those expectations and responding like when Forrest Gump first met Lt. Dan in Vietnam. “I sure hope I don’t let him down.”

It’s all about the gaps

So Cam Thomas‘ first season with the Steelers was…um…less than impressive, to put it mildly. According to the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo, Thomas’ struggles last season had more to do with gaps than anything else. Thomas played nose tackle in a one-gap defensive system for the Chargers in his first four seasons in the NFL.

The Steelers defense, under Dick LeBeau, ran an exclusive two-gap system for the nose tackles, plus Thomas was primarily asked to play defensive end as well. In the one-gap system, the nose tackle is only responsible for, you guessed it, one gap, and can be more aggressive in getting towards the quarterback.

Now that Keith Butler is at the helm for the Steelers defense he has instituted the one-gap system in order to get the defensive ends like Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt more involved in the pass rush and, according to Fittipaldo, it’s working to improve Thomas as well.

We don’t change policy

So much for all of the reports that Antonio Brown‘s “people” are going to meet with the Steelers front office to discuss reworking his contract. The Trib’s Mark Kaboly reports that Steelers GM Kevin Colbert put an end to those reports once and for all.

The Steelers don’t rework contracts with players until the final year of their contract and it’s something they’ve stuck with for years and don’t plan on changing that policy anytime soon, even for the best wide receiver in the league.

"It was something that was here before I got here, and I am sure it will continue after I am gone. It is just the consistency within the organization. It is something that we believe in and it works for us, so I don’t see it changing.” – Kevin Colbert"

So much for Drew Rosenhaus and his leaked reports to Ian Rapoport.

Next: Steelers are Madden 16 Super Bowl Champs

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