LATROBE, PA. – It's a fairly common opinion among football coaches, and after watching his team take part in the conditioning test that always opens training camp Mike Tomlin revealed that he buys into it, too.
Don't make two changes to fix one problem.
Just hours after the Steelers got Flozell Adams' name on a contract and thereby added him to the list of potentials to fill the spot at right tackle that was opened by Willie Colon's season-ending Achilles injury, Tomlin explained how the pieces will be aligned once practices in pads begin on Saturday afternoon.
This was an issue because Adams has played left tackle in each of his dozen seasons in the NFL, and even though the Steelers have an incumbent starting left tackle in Max Starks, the seventh-year pro was the team's starting right tackle in 2005 all the way through a win in Super Bowl XL.
"My mentality is that we have an issue and that issue is at right tackle," said Tomlin, "and I am not going to make it an issue at two positions unless I have to. Max has played above the line for us at left tackle. We are searching for someone to step in and step up for Willie Colon at right tackle. Someone will show themselves, and we are going to go on and play great. Who that is we will see."
In the immediate aftermath of Colon's injury in late June, the Steelers brought Adams to Pittsburgh for a visit to gauge his interest in joining the team and in fitting into the role Tomlin saw for him. Over the course of the previous several days, Adams' answers seemed to be the ones Tomlin wanted to hear.
"It is exciting to be able to acquire a man with his stature in the game, and more important than his resume, it was the visits and the talks that he and I have had over the past few weeks," said Tomlin. "He is a guy who wants to be here. This is a guy who has made some money in this league and has achieved almost every personal accolade you can get. The fire still burns, he wants to be part of a world champion. He is committed to fitting in, and those are his words not mine. Those are things that make you excited, aside from what he has done in the NFL."
Besides the situation at right tackle, one the Steelers addressed in the days leading up to their arrival here by signing Adams and Adrian Jones, another hot topic at Saint Vincent College was and will continue to be the status of Ben Roethlisberger as it pertains to training camp practices.
"Tomorrow we will do like we have done the majority of the spring – Byron Leftwich is going to get a significant number of snaps (with the first-team offense) followed by Dennis Dixon," said Tomlin. "We are going to be somewhat non-rhythmic of course. We are going to make sure that by the end of this thing Ben has had a productive camp, but as we proceed at this juncture our focus of course is on who is going to be playing quarterback for us the week of the opener. I like where those guys are right now, Charlie Batch included. We are not going to lock ourselves down to any prescribed rotation. We will continue as we have throughout the offseason."
INJURY UPDATE: Tomlin said two players will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Andre Frazier is experiencing some discomfort in his knee, and rookie Chris Scott is still rehabilitating after surgery on his broken foot.
RUN-TEST REPORT: With the rare exception over the years, the Steelers have aced the conditioning test that Tomlin uses to open camp, and he said he was happy with what he saw on Friday.
"I'm very pleased with the overall conditioning of the group," said Tomlin. "It's a great place for us to start in terms of the challenges that lie ahead. The only man who didn't participate in the conditioning test was Maurkice Pouncey. We have come to a contract agreement with him, and you guys are all welcome to watch him do it tomorrow at 6 a.m. There were some veteran players who were excused at my discretion. I offer no explanation for that other than that they are complimented for their years of service."
ON TO CANTON: Tomlin also revealed that the Steelers will travel as a team to Canton on Saturday, Aug. 7 to support Dick LeBeau as he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010. "What a great opportunity to have a field trip for a football team," said Tomlin. "Camaraderie, coming together, and a little bus ride. But more importantly being there for a guy we all love and admire. It is a very special day for him and by no means do we intend to miss it."