As minicamp came to an end, you could easily get a feel for the fact that players were tired of 'football in shorts.'
Yes, it's great for conditioning, but the players know until they get to Saint Vincent College for training camp and the pads come on, it's not football yet.
"Out here it's just running around with shorts on," said Jon Bostic. "When you put pads on it's totally different. You find out who is who. You find out about your football team. That is when you find out about people. Anybody can go out here and look good in shorts. When you line up between the lines in camp with pads on. Some people show up, some people disappear."
Coach Mike Tomlin said evaluating newcomers to the roster like Bostic is a challenge without the pads on, also an unfair assessment since it's not fully football.
Bostic agrees, and knows what he needs to do when the pads come on…exactly what he has done his entire career.
"I just have to do the same thing I have been showing," said Bostic. "I am a three-down linebacker. That is one of the reasons they brought me in here. They said this is what we need you to do. I would love to bring that to this defense. I am a guy who can play all around and do a lot of different things. I would love to show some of those things.
"For us, one of our main things is going to be stopping the run. We are going to play physical up front, we are going to set the tone up front. Make it one dimensional games where teams are just going to have to throw the ball on us."
He needs to get the pads on to show the physical side, but OTAs and minicamp definitely gave the free agent signee plenty of time to learn the defense and he is feeling comfortable.
"The transition has gone well," said Bostic. "Learning a lot already. Got everything down. Now it's just learning the ins and outs. What the defensive line is doing on every play. Where everybody needs to be. That is how I learn the defense. I feel like I need to know everything from the top down."
One factor that is aiding the transition is the closeness in the locker room. Bostic has played for other teams, including the Bears, Patriots and Colts, and said there is a unique bond that exists in the Steelers locker room.
"Whether it's offensive or defensive guys, everybody bonds," said Bostic. "It's like one big family. You don't get that everywhere. To be honest, it sets teams apart. When you are around guys you learn each other, how you think, how he thinks. In games you can get to that point where I look at you and know exactly what you are going to say, when you look at me you know exactly what I am going to say. When you are around guys, you start to learn them."