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Tomlin pleased with offseason work, ready for camp

The Steelers wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp on Thursday and will now be off until they report to Saint Vincent College Wednesday, July 24.

Head coach Mike Tomlin was unhappy to see what the team has been building upon the past couple of months in OTAs and minicamp come to an end. But the veteran head coach also knows that the end of minicamp and start of training camp begins the ramp up to the start of the regular season.

"It comes to a screeching halt," Tomlin said Thursday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. "It's been a good offseason. (We) got a lot of good work done, some foundational things. I'm excited about the group. But I'm sure everybody is at this time of year. It is good to kind of learn without consequence and teach and get to know one another and standards of expectation, and those are some of the things that we've been focused on.

"It's difficult to get in football shape without playing football. And so we've had a good environment for that. From that standpoint it has been really good. And now it's the challenge of building off that level of conditioning and preparation for camp as individuals and as a collective. And so as we leave and go our separate ways, that's kind of the messaging. They have the right to expect the group to show up ready to work, but it's also responsibilities that come with that right. They have the responsibility as individuals to show up ready for the group. And so that's the message of where we left them."

The Steelers have had a busy offseason, making a number of additions and, most notably, retooling their quarterback room with the additions of veterans Russell Wilson, Justin Fields and Kyle Allen.

Wilson, whom both Tomlin and new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith have said has "pole position" as the team's No. 1 quarterback, was a constant participant in the offseason program.

But Tomlin is still in the learning phase regarding the 13-year-veteran.

"It's about teaching and learning, him getting to know us, us getting to know him," Tomlin said. "It's teammates getting to know one another. I haven't really been looking at it from an evaluation perspective, just from an instructional perspective."

Dale Lolley is co-host of "SNR Drive" on Steelers Nation Radio. Subscribe to the podcast here: Apple Podcast | iHeart Podcast

However, that all will ramp up even more once the Steelers report to Latrobe to begin the serious preparations for their preseason opener Aug. 9 against the Houston Texans and their regular season opener at Atlanta Sept. 8.

"We're going to miss this work, but we are still excited about Latrobe and what's next for us," Tomlin said.