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Fun and games instead of football

Who says Mondays aren't fun days? For the Steelers, this one certainly was. Instead of taking the field for a scheduled OTA practice, they headed to Dave & Buster's at the Waterfront for arcade games and team building.

"It's probably my favorite day of the offseason," said Mike Mitchell. "We are just out here being kids, having fun. You get to have fun with the guys that you don't always get to do at work. This is for sure fun. It's good team bonding for us."

Coach Mike Tomlin has made it an annual tradition to give the players a day off during OTAs, a day for them to have fun and build camaraderie that will come in handy during the dog days of training camp and into the season.

"We acknowledge that camaraderie and togetherness is very much a part of team development," said Tomlin. "Our closeness is going to get us out of tough situations. We know that. We show respect for that by taking a team activity day and doing something that fosters that togetherness and brotherhood.

"The guys will take it from here. They do a great job during the course of the season. Guys open their homes to teammates. The older guys teach the young guys to take care of their body. Things that good teams do. We like to show a respect for that through this process by utilizing one of our days to do something fun like this."

The Steelers took a day of OTAs to team build.

Players were interacting with teammates they might not always have the opportunity to do so with on the field, going against them in games, but also just talking over lunch.

"This is awesome," said Sean Davis. "Like Coach said, we have team bonding, working on building chemistry. We are a new team this year. If we want to start that process early, this is great. Coming out here instead of practicing serves a purpose. You get off the field and do something like this. I am loving it."

The players did bring one aspect of football with them…their competitiveness. Bragging rights were on the line, and nobody was holding back.

"We are out here trying to win in basketball, get as many tickets as possible," said Joshua Dobbs. "The competitiveness never stops. It's all a part of it.

"It's cool to come out and have fun, get around different guys, and just be a kid. You get to know your teammates on the field, in the weight room and training room, but you want to get them off the field in settings like this when we kick back, relax, and enjoy the time together."

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