Ben Roethlisberger has no shortage of weapons to work with at wide receiver, but there is no doubt he would love to have Martavis Bryant back on the practice field at Saint Vincent College sooner rather than later.
"It's a lot of fun," said Roethlisberger of the working with the group of receivers. "I am excited to see the competition at the position keep evolving.
"We don't even have Martavis out there yet. We are excited for him to get out there. Hopefully it's today. Hopefully the league will let him go and get out here with his teammates where he needs to and should be."
With Bryant still waiting to be cleared by the NFL to practice, Roethlisberger has been working a lot with free agent addition Justin Hunter early in camp. At 6-4, Hunter is a tall target, something Roethlisberger has been yearning for.
"It's been really good," said Roethlisberger. "I don't want to get too excited, too early. I like the presence he brings. A veteran guy, it's not like it's his first year. He understands the NFL and what it takes and works hard. I am excited about what he brings."
The combination of Hunter and Bryant, also 6-4, can bring a whole new dimension to the offense, and eventually take pressure off Antonio Brown.
"It helps in different areas of the game," said Roethlisberger. "We have Antonio who is not a big guy, but plays like a big guy. When you get in the red zone it creates mismatch problems. It also helps inaccurate throws be more accurate when you have big guys.
"It always helps taking a little pressure. Safeties can't quite lean so hard to Antonio. You have to respect what Martavis does. Justin has been able to do those things, and (Darrius) Heyward-Bey and other guys. But Martavis is a little bit of a different animal out there."
More from Ben:
On being more talkative on the field:
"I feel like it's the same. We have some new guys. Justin, I am trying to work with him more. I try to be a leader and help the guys. I want them to know what I see and expect when I am out there."
On Artie Burns growth and what going against Antonio Brown has done for him:
"He is really growing. He is getting the opportunity to go against the best every single day. I can see the growth. I talked to Antonio about it. We see Artie really getting a lot better."
On his offensive line:
"They are the best line in the league in my opinion. I am glad to have Al (Villanueva) back for a long time now and the rest of those guys. They really are the reason I stay upright and healthy."
On expectations for the offense:
"Expectations are high. They need to be. Especially because of our offensive line. They will put that pressure on themselves, but we all have to lean on them. They are the most important part of this team because as they go, we go." On his future:
"I am only going to focus on this year. If those guys up front play as well as they have been playing, getting sacked only 17 times, it might keep me around a little bit longer. I am giving everything I have to training camp, this season, the camp. I commit myself 110 percent. I will do that throughout the season. I am not going to look past this season, let alone today."
On missing Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney:
"It's been tough. Not seeing his cart, seeing him walk around, and his plane going over. For me, 14 years of seeing him here. Someone who means something special to me. I know on draft day he went in and said, listen we are taking him. It's not the same, but he will always be here with us."