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Steelers explore two-point options during OTAs


What has become the standard opening to an OTA proved to be decidedly one-sided in OTA No. 5.

The Steelers' first-team offense was unstoppable on two-point conversion attempts against the Steelers' first-team defense no matter who was keeping score.

"Our first group was 4-for-4," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger assessed.

Free safety Mike Mitchell had it "three-zip" in favor of the offense on his scorecard.

The Steelers participate in Day 5 of the 2015 Organized Team Activities at the Steelers practice facility.

What it all means remains to be seen but the Steelers have been nothing if not consistent in their desire to explore their options on extra points now that the NFL has moved the line of scrimmage back to the 15-yard line for point-after-touchdown attempts.

The ball will stay at the 2-yad line for a two-point attempt, and the Steelers have opened all five of their OTAs last week and this week with some exploratory two-point work as a result.

"We're trying to really get into seeing what's best for us, what's best for our team," Roethlisberger said. "A typical season, you go in and you have two or three two-point plays because you really don't plan on using them too much and if you do maybe you use the second one way down the road.

"This is going to be something where, we may use this 15, 20, 50 times; who knows? You need to have multiple plays."

Defensive end Cam Heyward pointed out all the two-point work to date has been competed without shoulder pads, without hitting and tackling.

"Wait 'til the pads come on," Heyward suggested.

Roethlisberger appreciates the difference that might make.

"That's why you take everything we do out here with a grain of salt," he said. "It could work to (the defense's) advantage. It could work to our advantage because now the element of the run comes into play.

"We feel we can still run the ball from the 2-yard line. I can quarterback-sneak from the 2-yard line."

Tight end Heath Miller was more involved in the two-point work in OTA No. 5 - Miller converted a pair of receptions - than he was excited about the new opportunity.

"We'll play by the rules," he said. "I don't understand why they're changing it but it's the rules so we'll play by them.

"I like our chances if we go for it. That's obviously up to 'Coach' (Mike Tomlin). I don't know where his mindset is at but if we get a chance to do it then I feel good about it. We can be multiple because we have a lot of playmakers and I think that would be hard to defend. We can spread you out. We can line you up, get (wide receiver) Antonio (Brown) in space, get a big, tall guy like (wide receiver) Martavis (Bryant) or (wide receiver) Markus Wheaton (the ball). And then obviously (running back) Le'Veon (Bell), he's another receiver on the field or a power running back if we need him to be.

"I'm just here to help. I get in where I fit in. I think I scored on both the ones I caught (in OTA No. 5)."

Mitchell appreciated the two-point work and emphasis if not the two-point results for the defense in OTA NO. 5.

"They got us on a couple miscommunications because we had some new defenses in," he said. "Ben's a really good quarterback so he should win some, you know? Our offense is absolutely phenomenal. We have a lot of good athletes. Le'Veon is outstanding, really strong after the catch. You see him and Heath get the ball a lot down there. We're going to have to bring our hard hats. We try to compete. They don't beat us like this every day. Today was a good day for them, though.

"I think teams may try it, there's an emphasis on it. There's a good chance that we'll have to defend them. I love that it's something that we're working on every single day and it's only June."

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