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Rookies off to a good start

They didn't have a lot of time to prepare for their first practice, spending less than two hours in meetings before hitting the practice field.

But it didn't take long for the Steelers' rookies to get into the swing of things and remember that it's football they are playing, and instincts take over.

"It was good to get out on the field, come out and compete," said Joshua Dobbs, who graduated from Tennessee less than 24 hours before his first practice. "It was a quick transition. It was good to get on the field and get into it.

"It was the first day of install. We will have more install later. You are just growing, trying to come out and be successful in what you learned upstairs. You want to build on each practice and continue to improve moving forward. It was a good day and I look to improve in our next session."

That is the key for every player. To just continue to improve. And it's something that will happen as they have more time to learn the ins and outs of the playbook.

"Right now my mentality is to get the playbook down," said JuJu Smith-Schuster. "Learn assignments, alignments. I am running the right routes, but the only time you can play is when you know the playbook.

"It's great to be out here, different environment, different colored uniforms, and different players. It's an honor and blessing to be out here."

The Steelers have a total of five practices over the three days of the team's rookie minicamp at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. It's a chance for them to get their feet wet before the veterans join them in a few weeks for OTAs.

"We installed a little bit," said Cameron Sutton. "We will probably install more the rest of the weekend. It's just retention. It's not a lot that you can't handle it. It's not putting a lot of pressure on guys. It's really simple for us for the most part. Making sure you have a good understanding of what you are doing on the field, and putting it to work when you are out there.

"It's that whole process of believing in yourself, having confidence in yourself to go out there, just having that whole mentality and approach that every time you step on the field, it's not arrogance or anything like that, but you have the mentality that you are the best guy on the field. If that is not your mentality, you are going to be in trouble out there. Just having that confidence, trusting my game and instincts, knowing the calls, and then making plays on the ball."

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