Do It Tuitt: Stephon Tuitt has been nothing but a spectator for OTAs and now minicamp as he recovers from surgery on his finger, but he said he will be ready to go when the team reports to training camp on July 27.
"We did what we did to be ready for training camp," said Tuitt. "That is the goal. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that is the goal."
While he won't be taking part in minicamp this week, he will be doing his part to help the younger players on defense.
"It's a new role for me," said Tuitt. "For me to do my thing on the sideline, talk to the younger guys, let them know how the game is going to be, is important."
Tuitt, who is entering his fourth season and the final year of his rookie contract, feels more comfortable in the role of helping younger players after doing the same thing last season. Cameron Heyward was sidelined mid-season with a pectoral injury, and it was Tuitt who had to step up.
"It helped me grow a lot," said Tuitt. "Not having that person to ask what the play is and you having to be the guy that knows the play, it was a lot of growth for me. From that point, I just grew tremendously. I helped lead the team to the AFC Championship. We were becoming a dominant defense until, unfortunately, we played the Patriots. I learned a lot, grew a lot. I learned my teammates even more than I did before."
Ready to roll: The past month Steelers players have been on the field working on every aspect of the game.
But there has been something missing…pads and hitting.
For the players, especially for the younger ones, it's mostly been about learning and understanding the system.
Take a look at the 90 players currently on the Steelers roster as of June 26, 2017.
"I am getting adjusted well," said rookie Keion Adams. "Things are starting to settle in as far as the playbook. Things aren't moving as fast. I am getting adjusted with the help of the older guys and Coach (Joey) Porter. They are showing me things and I am not thinking as much and playing football."
And playing football is something he can't wait to do in earnest. This time of year is all well and good, a necessity for sure, but Adams is anxious for training camp when the hitting begins.
"It's more of a mental thing now," said Adams. "But you want to go out there and put the pads on and show people what you have. You never want to shy away from that. I am anxious to go out there and put the pads on."
For now, though, he will have to wait and stick to learning the system along with fellow rookie linebacker T.J. Watt, who he has already formed a bond with.
"From day one we hit it off," said Adams. "I would say he's become my best friend here. We do everything together. We eat together, lift together, work out together. We study plays together at night. At the end of the day, whether he was in the first round and I was in the seventh round, we are in the same spot as far as being rookies and we try to learn as much as we can and help each other out as much as we can.
"It's very important to have someone alongside you going through the same thing you are that you can relate to. I know it takes a load of our backs."