Offseason Program

Picking up speed

UPPING THE ANTE: No. 1 pick Terrell Edmunds noticed a couple of distinct differences between the rookie minicamp the Steelers staged from May 11-13 and the opening of OTAs this week.

"The speed," the safety from Virginia Tech maintained. "And then the quarterbacks, they put it on the money. You have guys running down the sideline, back-shoulder throws, all of that's on the money. They try to fit it in those tight windows.

"Everything has to be picked up just a little bit."

One of the quarterbacks Edmunds went against for the first time this week was Ben Roethlisberger.

"Yes sir, I did," Edmunds said. "It was crazy because he saw me in there and I thought he smirked at me just because he saw me in there. 'A.B.' (wide receiver Antonio Brown) was over there by himself on the island with the corner and I was on half-field on that side. I think he smirked at me, tried to look me off.

"I ended up rolling over to 'A.B.' but he was moving. 'A.B.' was definitely moving down the sideline."

The Steelers participate in day 3 of the 2018 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

BEST ATHLETE AVAILABLE: Inside linebacker Vince Williams appreciated the Steelers' decision not to select an inside linebacker to replace Ryan Shazier on the first round of the draft.

"I think what everybody needs to understand is Ryan Shazier is an amazing player," Williams said. "There wasn't a linebacker that had the skill set of Ryan Shazier in the draft. You don't have linebackers that run 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash) and jump 40-something-inch verticals and things like that, can cover athletic tight ends like that every draft. So just to pick a linebacker to say that you're just picking a linebacker, it's not really going to accomplish much.

"You need a really talented individual to do what Ryan Shazier was doing for us or you need to do it by committee. I think the Steelers' commitment to doing it by committee is going to pay off for us."

PASSING THE TEST: Veteran inside linebacker Jon Bostic, who arrived via free agency from Indianapolis, has a zest for the game that has gotten Williams' attention.

"We spend a lot of time talking about football," Williams said. "He loves football, because I know I love football and anybody that can sit around with me all day and talk about football obviously has to really care about football a lot."

SORTING IT OUT: Veteran cornerback Joe Haden hasn't thought much about how a secondary transitioning from Mike Mitchell and William Gay and one with plenty of options to explore will eventually sort out.

"Not yet," Haden said. "I'm just trying to get myself back right. Everybody's just trying to get into the groove, wherever coach puts us, making plays. It'll work itself out. Right now everybody's just working together, trying to make plays."

POSITION FLEXIBILITY: The outside linebackers last season were primarily Bud Dupree on the left side and T.J. Watt on the right, but that situation could be subject to change.

"This is probably going to be my first year rotating back and forth," Dupree said.

Watt isn't sure where he'll spend most of his time lining up after the first week of OTAs.

"Right now it's left but we'll see what's going to happen," he said. "I'm willing to do anything, whatever it takes to win, I'm on the stairway to seven just like every other guy in that locker room. Whatever the coaches have me doing, I'm going to be right there on board."

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