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A fun way to head into the bye

Posted Nov 1, 2017

The Steelers spent Wednesday morning at Dave & Buster's for team building.

Just as the Steelers’ team meeting was ending on Wednesday morning you could hear a huge cheer come from the room, a happy bunch of guys as Coach Mike Tomlin told them instead of having practice, they were headed to Dave & Buster's for a morning of team building.

“The weather was less than ideal today,” said Tomlin. “We thought it was a good opportunity to come out and have a little bit of fun, work on the camaraderie element of team. We realize it’s a factor, you can’t measure it. Togetherness is going to be an element over the second half of the year for us.

“I think it’s great to be a close team and want to spent informal time together. It’s also important we utilize that closeness for good. We tell each other the truth. We challenge each other in the right ways. We challenge each other down the stretch.”

Nobody was probably happier than JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is a video game fanatic and one of the most energized players there. 

“Coach said we are at Dave & Buster's, so I took full advantage of it,” said Smith-Schuster. “This is my element. This is what I love doing, playing video games, having fun.”

The interaction between the players, which was a mix of young guys playing against veterans, offensive guys against defensive guys, was just what Tomlin had hoped for.

“This is a lot of fun,” said Cameron Heyward. “A lot of our competitive juices keep flowing. It’s good to get away from football for a while. I think it’s going to give us a chance to re-energize, build those batteries again so we can go on that stretch run we are about to go on.”

And speaking of competitive spirit, it was definitely in full effect. And Heyward was one of the prime competitors. He took on rookie T.J. Watt in a Piano Keys game, winning the first round, but Watt got him the second time.

“I got tired, I got tired of whopping him,” said Heyward. “T.J. got me at the end. I will build my stamina and get back at it.”

Watt definitely got the last word in this battle.

“Cam had a lot of practice, he was over here by himself doing it for a long time,” said Watt. “I came over and beat him in the second try. I would be pretty mad if I was him too. Tyson (Alualu) humbled me and beat me right away too. I don’t know what the deal is. I will have to go back and practice more.

“It’s good for team bonding. It’s a chance to reflect on what we have done and get ready for the future. It’s a great thing Coach Tomlin thought of for us to come here and really have some fun.”