The next step has begun

It's not OTAs, it's not minicamp, but the Steelers took the next step in their voluntary offseason program on Monday with the beginning of Phase Two.

Phase Two of the Steelers offseason workout program is underway.

Phase Two spans the next three weeks and consists of on-field workouts that allow individual player instruction by the coaches. There is no live contact, no team offense vs. team defense permitted, but it's a graduation from working in the weight room only the previous two weeks.

"It's good for everybody to get back at it. Being able to put the cleats on, working is good," said receiver Sammie Coates. "Everybody is coming out now. The coaches are allowed to be able to be out there with us. It's a chance for everybody to get better."

There were some new faces at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Monday, including receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey who was in for workouts for the first time this offseason.

"It's a good phase to come back in for," said Heyward-Bey. "The coaches are out there, getting us ready for OTAs and minicamp. It's a good chance to us to dive into the playbook.

"This is a good time of year. A lot of the young guys are probably ready to go full strength, but the veterans understand the process. We understand that you ease into it. Once OTAs and minicamp start, you are going to be going full throttle and you want to be ready for that by easing into things."

Linebacker Arthur Moats hasn't missed a minute of the offseason program, and welcomed the change of pace on Monday after spending his offseason doing nothing but working out.

"It's always good to get out there with the coaches," said Moats. "It's something different. The change helps as far as keeping everyone inspired, motivated. It's good. It's all about building up to things like OTAs, minicamp. It's a process."

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