- So far, so good: The Steelers are hosting their rookie minicamp at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex this weekend, three days of instruction and introduction into what the team is all about. So far Coach Mike Tomlin likes what he sees from the group that includes all of the team's draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents, and tryout players.
"It's a good instructional weekend here with these young people," said Tomlin. "Getting a lot of work done. Some guys are having an opportunity to try out and show what they are capable of. Others are getting acclimated to our environment because we've either drafted them or signed them as free agents. They are just trying to get up to speed as quickly as they can in terms of what we are culturally, what we're asking them to learn, and lastly trying to execute to a certain degree in this setting. Thus far it's been good, but not trying to measure it too much. Just trying to make good use of the time with the young people and trying to get an evaluation on the ones we don't have commitments with."
Steelers' rookies take the field for rookie minicamp.
What they look for:** Rookie minicamp is three days of information flying at the players. They are getting their first dip into the playbook, and then quickly have to turn it around on the field. That's something the coaches are well aware of, especially being that it's "football in shorts," and use the three days not to evaluate how they have picked things up so far, but basically what they bring to the table in general.
"We can evaluate their overall pedigree," said Tomlin. "By that I mean how they move, the manner in which they move, the manner in which they control their bodies. Those are some things you can't coach and those are obviously things we value. That shows up in drill work, it shows up even in this setting, in the controlled setting we're in right now. Those God-given things usually show up, and that's what we're looking for."
On their own: The three days of rookie minicamp also give the players an opportunity to learn without veteran players who know the system inside and out alongside them, something that will come soon enough when OTAs begin on May 24.
"It's an important part of the process," said Tomlin. "The process has to start somewhere, and it's a good atmosphere from a teaching standpoint, when they get a chance to do it collectively without the veteran players."