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Offseason Program

The right start

As they begin again, they still remember how it ended.

After Jaguars 45, Steelers 42, how could they forget?

"Still has a bad taste in your month," guard Ramon Foster confirmed regarding last January's playoff loss to Jacksonville at Heinz Field. "Definitely don't expect to be out of the playoffs that soon. Our No. 1 goal is to win it."

The OTAs that commenced this week, Foster emphasized, are being embraced as a turning of the page and as a first step toward a much different outcome.

"We gotta be a team that's starting that process right now," he continued. "That's why it's encouraging to see guys out here, as many guys as we have right now out here that are starters that are making it happen."

Foster has liked what he's seen at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex during the first two of the Steelers' 10 scheduled OTAs in terms of attendance and engagement.

"Very active the first two days, guys are at it," he assessed. "And it's not just being active, it's good work the last two days. Guys have really shown up and shown we have to be a different type of team.

"The communication, the way guys are just moving around, the coaching aspect of it, too. It's not just coaching in the meeting room, coaching on the film. I think it's full 360 for everybody."

One of the energizing elements in the early going at OTAs, Foster said, has been the way quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner has taken to coordinating the offense for the first time.

The Steelers participate in day 2 of the 2018 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

"There are some fresh ideas," Foster said. "There are also some fresh coaching points from him. Randy's very detailed, a very smart guy. It's one of those things where you wouldn't be surprised if Randy had gotten pulled to be another team's offensive coordinator before here.

"Just a different voice, different teachings, and that's no slight to any past coordinator or anything like that. Randy has his ways and we'll adjust to his ways. I don't think we'll miss a beat."

The first week of OTAs concludes today.

The next two weeks will include seven more scheduled OTAs leading into mandatory veteran minicamp June 12-14.

The Steelers are off and running again.

Foster appreciates the enthusiastic start, but also realizes it's just a start.

"It's a good buzz right now," he said. "But none of that means anything in the spring time."