A thunderstorm interrupted the Steelers first practice of training camp on Saturday afternoon, but Coach Mike Tomlin didn't let it dampen the team's enthusiasm. After about a half hour delay where the team was forced to leave the field and Tomlin said he looked at weather radar screens, they returned to practice and finished strong.
"Good productive day for us today," said Tomlin. "It was pretty good for the first day. We have no control over the weather. We have an opportunity to adjust and the guys exemplified what they were capable of in that regard. Largely I thought they were able to maintain their focus of work and have a productive outing. We will take a look at the tape and just proceed. It is great to be on the field and see our fans here. Sorry the weather prevented them from enjoying it in its entirety."
Despite the wet conditions, with a rain continuing for a portion of the time after the team returned to the field, players looked sharp, with receivers coming up with some nice catches. Tomlin was asked if he thought that was because of concentration or what might factor into it, but thought it was too early in camp to make any kind of judgment.
"I'm not ready to characterize it any certain way right now," said Tomlin. "We had a little adversity out here with the weather. The guys dealt with the weather in a nice manner. I'd like to see them do it consistently before I would analyze it in any way."
It was the first time quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced since having minor knee surgery to clean out cartilage just before minicamp.
"I thought he looked good," said Tomlin. "I thought everybody looked good. I'm not rushing to judge, it's still football in shorts for us. We are enjoying the process."
Roethlisberger said he wasn't limited in any way in practice, feeling strong throughout.
"It felt real good," said Roethlisberger. "I feel great, yes. No discomfort in my knee that I've had for the last couple years. It was good to get out on the practice field, get some work in and get back to doing what we love to do.
"It feels great. Like I said, it was all about coming out here today and getting on the field and seeing what it felt like taking a drop, hitting the fifth step and letting the ball go. It felt good, so I was happy."
The Steelers will hold practice on Sunday, July 28, beginning at 2:55 p.m. The Steelers will put on the pads for the first time on Monday, July 29 with a 2:55 p.m. practice.