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Steelers bond over bowling

Steelers' players expected to be on the field on Monday, sweating it out during their seventh day of OTAs.

Instead they got competitive in another way when they traded in footballs for bowling balls and some team building and bonding at a local bowling alley.

"It's pretty fun to get out here with my teammates, a good change of pace," said linebacker Ryan Shazier. "We get to relax, and kick it and get some team unity.

"Ultimately, though, you are always trying to get the win, beat the guy next to you. It's fun, but at the end of the day somebody is trying to get some wins."

It's become an annual tradition for Coach Mike Tomlin to give the players a day away from the field, a day where they have an opportunity to build team camaraderie in a fun setting.

"It's about acknowledging we have to be a close group formally and informally, on the field and off," said Tomlin. "We try to represent that by taking an OTA opportunity and taking them on a field trip if you will to foster that type of environment.

"I am going to put a little competition in the mix. Pit one against another and watch them enjoy each other. At the same time watch the competitive juices come out. It always does."

There definitely was no lack of competition as some threw strikes, and others threw the obligatory gutter ball. And everyone chimed in no matter what the case was.

The Pittsburgh Steelers took a day of OTAs to team build by bowling together.

"You go out with your family if you want to have fun," said defensive end Stephon Tuitt. "When you go out with the guys, it's about competing and you want to win.

"It's good to come out and do this. We are with each other every day, practicing against each other. It's good to enjoy each other's company, do something outside of football."

For the rookies the bowling was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

"I was so excited," said safety Sean Davis. "I had my mind focused on practicing today and then Coach Tomlin told us we were coming out here. I am new here, so it's a chance to get to know everybody off the field and socialize."

Linebacker Arthur Moats is no stranger to the off the field day of OTAs, and knows that it's something that is going to pay dividends down the road. 

"It's always good to continue to build the personal relationships," said Moats. "When you are on the field with these guys you have to be able to trust and know they have your back. What better way to do it than get to know them on a personal level. You know what gets them going. It's informal, but you get that accomplished out here."

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