The offseason program is over. Finally.
Next stop: Latrobe.
To get you ready, here are a couple of observations gleaned from watching football in shorts:
The Steelers knew Shazier was fast when they drafted him No. 1 from The Ohio State University. But since arriving on the South Side of Pittsburgh Shazier has gotten
Although wide receivers were rotated with the first-team throughout the spring, Wheaton, who missed some time with a minor injury, estimated he ran with the first unit “for the majority” of the offseason program. “It means a lot,” Wheaton continued. “It means Ben is building trust in me.”
Wheaton didn’t make every play. During a two-minute drill on the first day of mandatory veteran minicamp he failed to come up with a tough catch in traffic at the goal line. But the pass was the third Roethlisberger had launched at Wheaton during the drill, a drill that had opened with consecutive Roethlisberger-to-Wheaton connections.
Wheaton is taking nothing for granted, but he’s playing the game at the necessary pace physically and mentally.
“I’m reacting the way I want,” he said.
That’s what might ultimately win him the job.
The no-huddle offense will be expanded, not forgotten:
The Steelers remember what the no-huddle offense did for them last season and they want to do more with it this season, not less.
“We’ll have some different personnel groups in the no-huddle,” Roethlisberger explained. “In years past it’s been kind of one, maybe two, personnel groups. And now we can kind of do some different things.”
“We can start a series with certain personnel and keep that (group) on the field and go no-huddle,” Roethlisberger said. “We can try and dictate what defense comes on the field for us (at the start of a series) so that way we can try to get in the best play possible.”
Critical to making this approach work will be the ability of players such as Le’Veon Bell,
As Steelers President Art Rooney II said a couple of years ago, the idea will be to run the ball more effectively as opposed to more often.
When the subject is discussed now it’s nothing short of remarkable how similar Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley sound when pointing out how much easier it’ll be to throw it after a good running game has opened things up for the passing game.
The quarterback is as adamant and enthusiastic as the offensive coordinator on the matter of balance. They’re on the same page.
Joey Porter wasn’t brought here to lead the band at halftime:
The defense in general and outside linebacker
Where would you rather be than right here, right now?:
If you’re a Steelers offensive lineman, the answer is probably “nowhere.”
A collection of mostly top-end draft picks with starting experience supported by veteran backups with starting experience is now being coached by a Hall of Fame guard with extensive experience in both an offensive line room and running an NFL sideline.
The O-Line’s arrow is unquestionably pointing up.
That has been reflected in the enthusiastic manner in which the offensive linemen have gone about their offseason business, and also in the universal admiration and respect for Mike Munchak that’s been expressed by the players he’s now coaching.
You’d expected nothing less than the right things being said in public about a new position coach. But at the same time the street cred Munchak has brought with him to Pittsburgh has been unmistakable. His guys are all in when it comes to following his lead.