LATROBE, Pa. - It was the day they have waited months for, and it didn't disappoint.
After an offseason of football in shorts, the Steelers put on the pads on Wednesday, the first time since the 2014 season ended.
"Practice went real smooth," said linebacker Lawrence Timmons. "We saw a lot of young guys play today, saw what they could do. It was just the starting point for us. We just want to have fun and get better."
One of the highlights of the pads going on is the backs on backers drill, putting the running backs and tight ends against the linebackers. It can get feisty, and it did.
"It's just part of the process, obviously a significant one," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "One that's emotion-filled. So is the game. So it's good."
Timmons said it's the perfect opportunity for players to show the coaches what they are made of.
"You are going against your opposition every down, running backs and tight ends," said Timmons. "You just want to show your physicality and what you can do to the coaches. We had a chance to do that today."
And while many young players have experienced something similar to backs on backers before, Timmons said the veteran linebackers gave them some tips and advice on what is expected now that the pads are on.
"You want to show them the Steelers way, how we do things," said Timmons. "For the most part the older linebackers did that for the young guys and that went pretty well today."
The Pittsburgh Steelers participated in their first practice in pads at 2015 Steelers Training Camp.