LATROBE, Pa. – Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin held his first press conference of the 2016 season on Wednesday, and here is a taste of what he had to say.
Heavy workload:** Second-year tight end Jesse James expected to get a lot of reps in training camp and the preseason, but with Ladarius Green on the physically unable to perform list (PUP), his workload will be even greater this week when the Steelers host the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener at Heinz Field.
"He needs these opportunities to grow and develop himself," sad Tomlin. "He's a young guy who's working to improve. He needs the reps, and he needs an opportunity to do that."
Great teacher: If you want to learn how to be a great NFL player, the best way to do it is to learn from one of the best in the game. That is exactly what rookie cornerback Artie Burns has had the opportunity to do during training camp, going against Antonio Brown and developing his skills thanks to Brown's play.
"I think all of us benefit from guys like Antonio," said Tomlin. "They're standard setters. Not only for defenders, but offensive players as well. You see young offensive running backs and receivers finishing in an Antonio Brown type of way, for instance. I think the presence of unique guys like him, with a unique approach to training, is beneficial to everybody around him."
- Camp counselor: More and more NFL teams are moving training camps to their practice facilities, but Coach Mike Tomlin enjoys coming to Saint Vincent College for camp and everything it has to offer. He joked that he could work out of Latrobe all year, as it gives the team a unique opportunity to bond.
"There are some informal moments that make training camp valuable, and that's why you come to settings such as this," said Tomlin. "This holds informal moments when you're sitting outside at 10:30 at night, the day is done, and the guys are sitting on the stoop talking about football, talking about life issues and helping one another. That doesn't happen as much when you leave the training camp setting because when the day's work is done, the guys go their separate ways.
"So there's some intrinsic value to being here, some things that you can't measure, and those are the things that I think about when I think about training camp. Those are the things that make me really excited about bringing a team to an environment like this."