It's football in shorts. But when OTAs begin on Tuesday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, that won't matter.
Because for the players, it's football again.
"It's more fun," said Mike Mitchell. "We have been trying to make it competitive doing conditioning drills. But when we start OTAs, that is when it really becomes more competitive and it's fun. We are all looking forward to it."
The OTAs are part of Phase Three of the offseason program, with 10 of them scheduled from May 22-June 8. There is no live contact during OTAs, but the team can take part in 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills.
"It's fun competing against each other in conditioning, but it's a lot more fun when we can actually play some football, go against one another even in the OTA setting," echoed Ryan Shazier. "It's been defense doing things against each other. But it will be fun when we go against the offense.
"It gets competitive. Any time we are out there the competitive juices start to get going."
The OTAs, just like Phase One and Phase Two of the offseason program, are voluntary, but from the looks of things over the last month, it's sure to be a packed house when they kick off. From veterans to rookies, players have been taking part and attendance has been through the roof.
"That is why we are here, for the team bonding, to get to know each other," said Mitchell. "We have a lot of new faces. We have a new team this year. We had some success, but everyone knows we were one game short.
"To get the group together and get to work on winning a championship is important. I remind the rookies every day why we are here, it's to win a Super Bowl. I remind them of that every day, this is Pittsburgh and we are fortunate enough that we have the pressure of having the most Super Bowls. That's a legacy we have to live up to.
"We were a game short last year. We have to win it this year."
The following is the full OTAs schedule:
Tuesday, May 23 – OTA #1
Wednesday, May 24 – OTA #2
Thursday, May 25 – OTA #3
Tuesday, May 30 – OTA #4
Wednesday, May 31 – OTA #5
Thursday, June 1 – OTA #6
Monday, June 5 – OTA #7
Tuesday, June 6 – OTA #8
Wednesday, June 7 – OTA #9
Thursday, June 8 – OTA #10
Don't miss SNR's live coverage of OTA's from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex between 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Listen live on the Steelers Official Mobile App or on Steelers.com.