Linebacker Larry Foote might have been away from the Steelers defensive system for a year, but he is quickly getting back on track during OTAs.
"You just freshen up mentally," said Foote. "Dick LeBeau is always throwing new stuff in there. You play in this defense, any time the door is open it helps to be in here. At the start of training camp you have to play fast and tune up that mental part of the game now.
"It's pretty much the same concept. The great thing about the defense it might look complicated to a guy that hasn't seen it, but we just put a new wrinkle in here and there and it's the same technique."
Foote returned to the Steelers this offseason after spending the 2009 season with the Detroit Lions. He isn't the only familiar face back on the field as cornerback Bryant McFadden also has returned, acquired via a draft day trade with the Arizona Cardinals.
"Those guys were welcomed back with open arms," said defensive end Brett Keisel. "They are going to help us win a lot of games this year. I don't think much has changed since they left."
Keisel said that both players look like the same ones who helped the team win Super Bowl XLIII, even though they give Foote a hard time about losing a step.
"We might tell him that for fun, but not at all," said Keisel. "I think Larry is a great football player and I am so glad he is back."
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has been sporting jerseys during the team's OTAs, wearing a #44 Steelers LeBeau jersey on Tuesday that was given to him. OnThursday he was sporting a #91 (Aaron) Smith jersey.
"I told him it's an honor, but he took a step back when he put it on," said Smith. "When Coach LeBeau wears your jersey or makes a comment about you it makes you feel pretty good."
The 22nd Annual Gatorade/Steelers 5K Race, Fitness Walk and Kids' Kickoff Run will be held on Saturday, September 4, at 9 a.m. at Heinz Field. The race is moving back to Labor Day weekend this year.
The race, which benefits the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund, is a competitive event sanctioned by USA Track and Field with a 3.1-mile level course on the North Side highlighted by a spectacular finish on the warning track in Heinz Field.