The calendar says it’s mid-April, but if you looked in the weight room at the Steelers UPMC Sports Performance Complex on Monday you would have thought it was football season as it was packed with players on the first day of voluntary offseason workouts.
“You see everyone is motivated, everyone is committed,” said wide receiver
“It brings back the motivation of the team. It brings everything together. Teamwork made the dream work. It’s all about the organization and the team. When you get guys together then you see guys who got better and it’s something special.”
Players won’t actually begin any football activity until OTAs start in May, but the workouts they are going through now build chemistry and keeps the players motivated.
“Last year we had the scare with the lockout,” said defensive end
“When you work out by yourself, even when you are somewhere training, you don’t push yourself as hard. But when you work out with a group of guys that you love and respect, it makes the whole team get better. You have guys yelling for you to get better. When it’s their turn you try to get them better. It’s very good for the team chemistry.”
That certainly was the case on Monday as many who signed to the team during the offseason were getting tips from those who have been around for a few years, and you could hear teammates continually shouting out encouragement to each other, happy to be back as a group.
“You get that real drive,” said cornerback
While some veterans continue to work out on their own as they have in the past, Brown was impressed when one of the first players he saw in the weight room was quarterback
“It shows us his leadership with him being here, and the offensive line being here,” said Brown. “It shows the type of people we are working with. When you have guys who are committed to putting their hand in the pile and willing to be here, it gives you inspiration to be right here with them.”
* * *
Players were greeted by a familiar face when they returned to work on Monday as running backs Coach Kirby Wilson was back in his office to kick things off.
“When I saw Kirby I told him nothing is going to keep him out of this building,” said running back
Wilson was all smiles, joking around with the players and spent a portion of the day at the office.
“It’s good to see him,” said Lewis. “He has stayed in our prayers, but just to see him again. God blessed that guy with a second chance in life.”
Wilson visited with Steelers staff at the team’s facility on April 4, but this was the first time he was back with the players since he was injured in a fire at his home on Jan. 6.
“I was just glad he was back,” said running back
Many of the players have visited Wilson in the hospital, but seeing him in the office meant a lot to them.
“It’s just really good to see him,” said running back