LATROBE, Pa. - It was a magical sound, one that was music to everyone's ears and brought an unbridled energy along with it.
You know the sound. That popping, crunching, pain-inducing sound you hear when shoulder pads collide.
You can't help but love hearing it. Because it means one thing, football is in the air.
On Monday, for the first time since last December, it was truly football for the Steelers when they put the pads on and started hitting at Saint Vincent College.
From drills that pitted linebackers against running backs and tight ends, to 11-on-11 action, it was a full-go for the Steelers through the rain drops, which didn't dampen any of the enthusiasm.
"I really liked the intensity," said rookie Ryan Shazier, the speedy linebacker the Steelers' drafted in the first-round this year. "It's exactly what I was looking for. It was what the guys were saying it was going to be.
"I feel like it was a good day for the whole team. We got to go out there and start hitting and it was pretty good."
Shazier was one of the stars of the first go-around of the backs-on-backers drills, using his speed to get past running back LeGarrette Blount.
"I think I did a pretty good job," said Shazier. "There is a lot of stuff I can learn. A lot of stuff I can do a lot better. I feel like I had a pretty good day today."
Shazier admitted to getting a little frustrated at one point during the drill when he was being held and tore off his helmet. He said he has to make sure while he stays intense, but at the same time keep his emotions in check.
"I don't like holding," said Shazier. "I don't think any defensive player likes holding. I have to control my temper sometimes when stuff like that happens."
Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steeler's third day of Training Camp.