In just a few days the Steelers will report to Saint Vincent College for training camp, the final preparation before the season begins.
Before they headed to Latrobe, though, many of them went back to the grassroots of football, hosting their own youth football camps in Pittsburgh and beyond, or assisting at the Steelers Youth Football Camps.
Among the individuals hosting camps this offseason were Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Mitchell, Bud Dupree, Roosevelt Nix, Javon Hargrave and Joshua Dobbs.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Roethlisberger. “You see a lot of smiles on their faces. I get to throw a pass to all of them. If I can teach one thing or supply one memory to these kids, just one, to one kid, that’s enough for me. If we can just reach one kid, then that means a lot to me.”
The Steelers held four youth football camps in the Pittsburgh area over the summer, a chance for the team to reach out to young players. The instructional camps feature current and former players, as well as area coaches, teaching the ins and outs of the game, while at the same time making sure football is fun for the kids.
“We want to make sure kids have a fun experience with football,” said Mike Marchinsky, Steelers Youth and High School Football Marketing Manager. “We want the kids to come and enjoy the interaction with the players, get some great instruction from the coaches and leave there with a positive experience. They might walk away saying we want to play football, whether it’s flag or tackle, but the most important thing is they walk away having a positive experience.
“It’s a Steelers camp, there are players there, and they get game tickets. They get to experience the Steelers feel up close.”