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Cowher: 'Training camp was special'

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*The Steelers are celebrating their 50th training camp at Saint Vincent College this summer. As a part of that celebration, we will be sharing training camp memories from players, coaches, staff and fans, leading up to the start of the 2015 Steelers Training Camp.
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Fifty years of Steelers football at Saint Vincent College.

For former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher, the start of training camp meant the start of something new. It was a fresh beginning, a chance to put everything that was worked on during the offseason to the test. A chance for rookies and young players to prove themselves, and veterans to show that they still have it.

And what he liked most about it, it was all done in a setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, in the peace and tranquility of Saint Vincent College, where the biggest distractions were the rolling hills of the Laurel Mountains and an occasional plane flying overhead en route to Arnold Palmer Airport.

"Training camp at Saint Vincent in Latrobe was special," recalled Cowher. "It might have only been 45 minutes away, but the setting in the hills, the ability to get away, was perfect. It has a great way of putting things in perspective.

"That is where the foundation was set. The sweat. The time we spent together in the dorms. Just the special feeling at the college itself; it is small, yet big enough and people loved to come there. It's a great getaway and the best way to start a season."

Cowher saw players come and go during camp in his 15 years (1992-2006) as the Steelers head coach. But he knows the tradition at Saint Vincent came long before he arrived, to the days when Chuck Noll molded four Super Bowl teams on the fields there, and even before.

"It's amazing when you think about all of the people that have been there down through the years and the tradition," said Cowher. "That is what makes Pittsburgh, being here and a part of this organization special.

"While the times have changed, and a lot of opportunities and technical advancements have been made, there is still the simplicity of going back to a place, the foundation of a training camp in the mountains. A lot of things have changed, but that is not one of them and that's what makes Pittsburgh special. "

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