LATROBE, Pa. - A look back at what resonated from Week One before looking ahead to Week Two at Saint Vincent College …
DIFFERENT APPROACH: Head coach Mike Tomlin cautioned the media upon the Steelers' arrival not to expect every throw to affect the depth chart at quarterback, and maintained he had relayed as much to the three QBs vying to replace Ben Roethlisberger.
Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett seem to have taken Tomlin at his word.
But Mason Rudolph apparently has a different idea in mind.
"He wants us to go out there and play free," Trubisky said. "It's practice, so you gotta test throws, you gotta let guys go make plays.
"You just gotta let it go, go out there and play. And when you're not thinking about it, that's when you play your best, anyway."
Added Pickett: "You just get better and play. I gotta get some more reps in a new offense, new system, get more comfortable and just compete, really."
Now, consider Rudolph's response to how he intends to approach practices:
"You expect a lot from yourself. I wanna be near-perfect on every throw, on every hand-off, on every protection adjustment. I put a lot of pressure on myself."
The chip on Rudolph's shoulder has been noticeable.
So has his compete level while running behind Trubisky and ahead of Pickett through the first week of training camp.
The two quarterbacks on either side of Rudolph on the depth chart were both added to the roster after last season, Trubisky through veteran free agency and Pickett as the Steelers' No. 1 pick in the draft.
But Rudolph is not deterred.
He hasn't looked like anything but a guy who thinks he has a legitimate chance to start, and one who's embracing the opportunity.
"I've been positive the entire time," he said. "I knew all I needed was a chance to compete."
NEXT IN LINE: Running back Najee Harris is here to carry the load on offense, again, and to step up as a leader in Roethlisberger's absence.
Harris is embracing both roles after being groomed last season by Tomlin, defensive tackle Cam Heyward and Roethlisberger to do so eventually.
"There's leaders who lead from the back," Harris offered. "There's leaders who lead in the front, obviously, the vocal ones like Cam, and there's leaders who lead by example. I think I'm the guy who leads by example, I try to be that type of person. But I gotta be the one who leads by speaking, too.
"There's all types of leaders. It's really just who the team feels more comfortable with, who can set the best example of what the standard is, I guess. The Steelers' standard, obviously, is hard-nosed football. There's just grit, like these damn dorm rooms, stuff like that, just the traditional style of the Steelers. Mine is along those lines, too. But I'm more motivated in a way, I want to achieve more. Mine's more of a hunger and drive."
HOMECOMING: Heyward also talked in detail about leadership, about the need for it, his desire to be a leader and how he goes about leading.
But he emphasized getting younger players or new additions to the team up to speed on Steelers history and Steelers tradition isn't on his leadership plate.
The alumni already have that covered.
"Obviously, I have stories and I'll share them," Heyward said.
"Ike Taylor's gonna be up here," Heyward continued. "He's able to talk about all those Super Bowl memories and they sound a lot better coming from him than me. You'll get Franco (Harris), you'll get Chris Hoke, guys that might not have been the most famous all the time, but everybody appreciated what they did."
Taylor was on campus last week.
Aaron Smith, Jeff Hartings, Kendrell Bell and Kevin Colbert were, too.
Heyward seems to appreciate such visits as much as anyone.
"The cool thing about here is we get those guys coming back."