It's still the preseason, but Tuesday had the feel of regular season preparation as the Steelers returned to the UPMC Sports Performance Complex for practice.
"It was a good work day for us back here at the facility," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We simulated an in-season Wednesday in terms of how we approached our work with our game being on Saturday. We're treating today like an in-season Wednesday. We did base installation with our offense, defense, and special teams."
Using the week like a regular season one is something that Tomlin feels benefits the team, giving younger players an understanding of how things operate before they face it in a few weeks when they prepare for the Denver Broncos in the opener.
"Part of the preseason is regular season readiness and we want to get them used to the rhythm of how we work," said Tomlin. "We always use this third preseason game in that manner. It doesn't necessarily mean that the scouting report or the preparation for the game will be as complete as it is in the regular season for obvious reasons. We're working with different people and different stages of development, first, second and third teams. And we're working, still, with 80-something guys.
"In terms of how we structured today and how we worked out here, it does represent what a regular season practice is like for us. It was a good start for us. We'll come back and have a mock Thursday, as we call it, and go from there."
Tomlin on injuries: "We had some guys come back today. Jason Ford has a minor hamstring injury and you can characterize him as day-to-day. Casey Hampton and Rashard Mendenhall took the field and they're working their way back. The other ones are kind of status quo."
In addition, Tomlin gave an update on linebacker Stevenson Sylvester:
"He got hurt either Friday or Saturday in Latrobe," said Tomlin. "We're taking it day-to-day. He had a minor procedure on his knee. He can definitely be characterized as questionable. If we were determining status for this week, which we aren't, you could say he'd be questionable at best."
Help the Steelers kickoff the 2012 season at the annual Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday, August 30. For more information visit Kickoff Luncheon.