Offseason Program

Making themselves at home

A new crop of Steelers rookies have descended upon the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, holding their first minicamp over the weekend.

But in the meantime, there are some newcomers who have been taking part in the initial portions of the team's offseason program, taking advantage of the time to get to know their teammates, surroundings, and just a good feel of what Steelers football is all about.

Nat Berhe, Jon Bostic and Morgan Burnett  all signed as unrestricted free agent this offseason, have been regulars at for the early workouts, taking advantage of every minute they can.

"This time is very valuable to get to know your teammates, get your body back, get going, learn the playbook, and get your feet back under you," said Bostic. "It's a process of getting your body ready for training camp, getting your mind ready for training camp. This is first step, you have to take every day one step at a time."

While the three already at least knew someone on the team before they arrived, getting to know everyone not just at their position, but on the team in general during a time where the pressure isn't high is a huge plus.

"I think this time, the important part as a new guy is getting to know your teammates, meeting your teammates, building that chemistry," said Burnett. "Also grinding and working together. For me it's important because I get a chance to understand the playbook, get familiar with the facility, and the city.

"When you first get here, you don't realize it but you are starting over. I walked in, didn't know where to go. I am going on my ninth year, but I had those big eyes, I am trying to get familiar with everything, with the area, with the facility. The most important part is your teammates. When you get around a group of the guys, get around each other in the building, get the chemistry. It makes it that much easier."

While this time is especially beneficial for those three, it also is a key time for a guy like Joe Haden who was traded to the Steelers last year in the preseason and didn't have an offseason program with the team until this year.
"Just being able to bond with the guys is great," said Haden. "It happened so fast last year and it still felt like home, it still felt like family. Being able to come here and start the lifting with everyone and do all that stuff is good.

"Being able to hang out with my guys. Talk to them, kick it. Hang out with them. This is a time when it's not about X's and O's. It's about getting that work ethic together, things like that. You are not game planning anybody. You aren't in a weekly routine. This is more talking, getting to know everybody. It's working out with your friends."