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Ladies get competitive at Steelers camp

LATROBE, Pa. - Some came from just a few miles away, while others made the trek from California to unite as only female Steelers fans can.

Over 300 women, decked out in everything from jerseys to black and gold tutus, filled the practice fields at Saint Vincent College on Sunday morning for the annual Steelers Women's Training Camp, presented by Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

And their coaches for the day, some Steelers all-time greats including linebacker Greg Lloyd, running back Barry Foster, offensive lineman Tunch Ilkin and defensive end Keith Gary, along with current Steelers Shaun Suisham and Greg Warren.

"These are some very competitive women," said Foster. "This is new for me, but they are competitors, they want to compete and get better and are passionate about football. You want women involved in the game. It makes their husbands happier. But having them involved is definitely a must.

"I am surprised at how eager they are to learn. That is the main ingredient in getting better, wanting to learn something new. I am excited to be here."

He wasn't the only one happy to take part. The ladies, learning all kinds of football drills, were on cloud nine.

"I am beyond ecstatic," said Michele Scott, originally from Monroeville, Pa. but now living in Pompano Beach, Fl. "Greg Lloyd was one of my favorites. I still have his jersey but I wore Jack Lambert's today because he is my ultimate favorite.

"These guys out here are real. Sometimes you are afraid to meet them because you think athletes have egos. But Steelers' players are down to earth just like the majority of the city."

While Lloyd knew he couldn't be as menacing with the ladies as he was with opposing quarterbacks during his playing days, he wasn't going to fully tone it down and he told a few of the ladies right off the bat there is no room for purses in these drills.

"I know me and I can't tone it down," said Lloyd. "I feel myself here at training camp and a martial arts instructor and its intensity. I want them to have fun, but I want to give them a little bit of what they don't know. I am going to give them an experience."

That it was. Lloyd told the ladies he didn't care how many passes they caught or kicks they could make. All he cared about was, "knocking the heck out of quarterbacks."

He was, though, impressed with the large turnout of ladies and the range, from young to old, athletic to grandmas, and everything in between.

"I saw a lady out here with one arm, and when I see that and I am out here talking about my hip, when I see that my pain goes away," said Lloyd. "It's cool to get the women out here doing this.

"I think this is great. People got to see us play from afar. Now they get to see us up close. It's cool, but it's not the same as playing."

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