Ben there, done that

After further review, the call stands.

After three weeks of catching passes at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, veteran free-agent wide receiver Donte Moncrief is confident he made the right decision when he signed on with the Steelers.

"Oh, yeah, most definitely," Moncrief confirmed.

The chance to catch passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during three weeks of football in shorts has been everything Moncrief had initially envisioned.

"He's great, fantastic honestly," Moncrief gushed. "Just the way he throws the ball, the way he sees things before they happen, it's fun to play with him.

"You never know when you're going to get a ball so you have to run everything full speed if you're on the back side or not, because he'll come to you just to see what you're doing."

MEET THE NEW BOSS: The adjustment to the NFL for rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson has included getting comfortable with Roethlisberger.

"It's different," Johnson admitted. "Just trying to get that connection down with Ben, it's crazy to me.

"It was just a big moment for me because I used to watch him growing up and now I'm here with him, so it's different."

Most of the time Johnson spent working with Roethlisberger on the field during OTAs occurred during position drills, not in 11-on-11 work.

"I haven't really gone with the first team these past three days," Johnson said Thursday. "Sometimes, I get in there for like a play.

"I'm just focused on the twos (second team) and threes (third team) right now, trying to get my reps down."

ODE TO JOY: The sessions were festive on occasion, especially when the defense made a play.

Outside linebacker T.J. Watt wants to keep it that way.

"We have to bring the excitement, bring the juice and bring the swag," Watt insisted. "If you make a play in the NFL, it's very hard to do so why not celebrate?

"That stuff is contagious and keeps the energy going throughout the whole practice and throughout the games."

A recap from week three of the Steelers 2019 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex

BACK FOR SECONDS: Sean Davis anticipates he'll have a better handle on free safety in his second season at the position.

Davis is also doing what he can to help strong safety Terrell Edmunds elevate his game in what will be Edmunds' second season in the NFL.

"Terrell's a great dude," Davis maintained. "He tries not to make the same mistakes twice, which is what I love about him. I just try to keep him under my wing because it wasn't too long ago where I was going into my second year.

"I just want him to take a bigger role. He might be one of the youngest guys out there, we still respect him. Being out there with him has been nothing but good things."

WORTH THE WAIT: New faces on defense at OTAs included veteran free agents Steven Nelson (cornerback) and Mark Barron (inside linebacker), and No. 1 pick Devin Bush (inside linebacker).

There remains much to sort out in terms of the division of labor, but veteran defensive end Stephon Tuitt is confident the process will ultimately result in an improved Steelers defense.

"I see it sorting out really well," Tuitt said. "If everybody does their job, we're going to be really good."

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