It was back to work for the Steelers on Tuesday at the first day of OTAs at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side, and it was a packed house, with the majority of the veterans on hand.
“It’s awesome to be here out, see all of the smiles again, run around with all of the guys, it was a good time,” said center
While players have been permitted to workout at the facility, this was the first day of everyone working together.
“It was a great day one,” said wide receiver
Among those there was safety
“We had a lot of our major leadership leave, people we could count on,” said Polamalu. “I think it’s nice for the young guys to see a familiar face and honestly to get myself better. It’s nice to be around the team here today, nice to see the guys again and get out and play some football.”
One of the leaders Polamalu was referring to who isn’t back is inside linebacker James Farrior. Farrior not only has been a leader off the field, but has been the signal-caller for the defense, a role that will be taken over by linebacker
“I know I can hold my own,” said Foote. “I have always been one of the leaders on this team. We have a whole bunch of leaders. You can’t replace a James Farrior. Everybody has to just step up. The bottom line in this league is you have to do your job, period, I don’t care who you are.”
Foote knows the Steelers defense will continue to thrive no matter who is on the field, but said he still misses having Farrior around from a friendship standpoint.
“It’s changing. It’s different,” said Foote. “I am meeting new people, different conversations. That is the way it is in this league. We knew this day would come but we had to make the most of it.
“It feels good to be back. You miss these guys. It’s good seeing these guys, being back in Pittsburgh.”
Roethlisberger said in some ways it’s like being a rookie again, learning things from scratch.
“I tried to tell the receivers don’t get frustrated because I know you guys are used to getting a lot more balls,” said Roethlisberger. “This is how it was my rookie year. I know what one guy does and I go to him and if he’s not open start scrambling.
“It’s going to be a challenge but that’s what makes it fun.”