The Steelers kicked off Phase 3 of the offseason program on Tuesday, with their first of 10 OTA sessions.
And the players were happy to be out of the weight room, through with the conditioning phase of things, and on to football.
"It's good to get out here and put the helmet on and get a look at some of these young guys," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "Shoot, everybody is young to me now. It's good to get a look at the guys out here and get back into it."
Roethlisberger, who is entering his 11th season, said this is the perfect time to start getting comfortable with some of the new faces on the team, including free agent receivers Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, as well as some of the young additions to the offense.
"It's fun to see the transition with the new guys, some of the other faces getting back out there," said Roethlisberger. "It's real important. Lance and I were just talking about we are going to start doing some hand signals and working on things that he's new to. These are good days that we don't have to worry about pads and getting hit and guys can really just focus on the routes and the things that they're supposed to learn, the mental part."
Roethlisberger also weighed in on some other topics, including the following:
On if he expects to see a lot of no-huddle in the offensive game plan?"We'll see. I think a lot of it is going to determine how much can the new guys and the young guys learn. We lost two starting wide receivers that knew the offense and knew the no-huddle really well, so for us to use it we're going to need the young guys and the new guys to pick it up quick."On if he believes Markus Wheaton is ready to make a big jump this season:"Yeah, I hope so. He's a competitor, he's a guy that wants to prove that he can be out here and that he can be a starter. So, I'm excited to see what he can do."
On having the same offensive line coming back this season:"Well, that's a big part of being able to run the no-huddle because those guys are up there and they're comfortable, they're familiar. They've got another offseason in training of continuity and learning from each other. I tell them before each game that they are what is going to drive this team and this offense. As long as they stay healthy and can play every game we'll be good."On if this offense has the potential to be the best he's been a part of in Pittsburgh:"I think so. Obviously it's kind of day one and we have helmets on, but with the work the guys have put in and the new guys, and some of the young guys – it all starts up front. If the line can play to their potential and with the ability that we think and know they can, then I think we can be as good as anybody."
What does it mean to have an experienced second-year player in Le'Veon Bell and the addition of LeGarrette Blount?I think it's huge for us because I've always said we need to be a balanced offense. So we need to run the ball, we need to be great at running the ball and we've got guys that want to be great at running the ball. So, hopefully we can do it and do it successfully.