The Steelers are wrapping up their offseason program with their minicamp this week, and it won't be long before the team reports to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for training camp.
Before that happens, though, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau shared his views on multiple topics about his defense, including what he likes about the team, some of the new players, and how big a role speed plays on defense.
The following is some of LeBeau's thoughts.
On what he has seen that makes him excited to go to Latrobe:**"I am very excited, excited for our team on both sides of the ball. The young guys are working hard, the veterans are working hard. We've got some speed. If we can get that speed going in the right direction people will have to identify who is coming where."
On what safety Mike Mitchell brings to the defense:"Well I like him. I like Cam Thomas also. We picked him up from San Diego. They're both solid veterans. Mike Mitchell is fast, very fast, a good solid tackler (and) an excellent blitzer. I looked at quite a bit of his tape during the free agency period and you had to look pretty far to find any weaknesses. I think we have a really quality player there."
On if speed on defense was something that needed to be addressed:
"You can never have too much speed and we drafted a very fast man in Ryan (Shazier). In free agency we got Mike (Mitchell), who is a very fast man and Lawrence (Timmons) is with us and has been with us all along. He's a very fast man. We have speed in the secondary. I think we're going to be fast enough to catch the ball if we can all get lined up and see where the ball is going."
On what Ryan Shazier's speed allows them to do with him:
"Just about anything you can imagine. He is fast enough, agile enough to assume a lot of roles in the defense. What attracted us to him when he blitzed in college he got on the quarterback so fast. That is something offenses can't acclimate yourself to. He is going to be able to do that. We will blitz him and try to have some deceit in there when he covers and blitzes some. He is probably one of the fastest linebackers in the league right now."
Steelers veterans and rookies participate in the first day of the 2014 Minicamp at the Steelers' practice facility.