Before he left Pittsburgh after the team's OTAs and minicamp, No. 1 pick T.J. Watt said he planned to spend time in the playbook, getting as prepared as he could be for the start of camp.
He kept his word.
"I've grown a lot," said Watt. "Staying in the playbook and developing myself as a player, knowing the drills that we are going to be doing day-in and day-out and doing those at home.
"Also working with my brothers in the offseason has helped a lot. I feel like I have grown quite a bit over the summer."
Watt spent time back in Wisconsin working with his brothers, the Texans J.J. Watt and Chargers Derek Watt, who both know what it takes to be ready for training camp.
"They pushed me," said Watt. "Taught me any little lessons that you need to be in the NFL. Telling me little details how to practice, how to be a pro, and then just pushed me in the weight room and on the field."
Watt is now happy to be around his Steelers brothers, getting to know them better through the rigors of camp.
"It's awesome to be around all of the guys, be in such a special place," said Watt. "It's awesome to be surrounded by the guys and fully be around them and get to know everybody and create that camaraderie we need to have to have a successful season."
Watt said he knows he still has to prove himself to those teammates, but he also knows he has time to do so.
"I have high expectations for myself," said Watt. "At the same time I can't put too much weight on my shoulders. I am just going to go out there and do what I do best and play football."
Young and the restless: Stephon Tuitt's face broke into a big smile when he was asked about the defense, a defense that is young and experienced.
"That is the best thing," said Tuitt. "We are young and experienced. That is freaking scary.
Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers 1st day of training camp.
"We are going to be a nasty defense. That is what is awesome. We are going to be a dominating, physical defense. We have guys like me who can run fast, (Ryan) Shazier, Artie (Burns), Sean Davis. We have great players on our defense. It's just us going out here, sharpening our swords and being the defense I know we can be."
Tuitt said the goal for the defense, and the rest of the team, is simple this year – win the Super Bowl.
"Every year we got better," said Tuitt. "Every year we took a step. We got a taste of things. It doesn't matter if it was Wild Card, Divisional, or AFC Championship. We know how it feels. We are going to do everything in our power and play dominating style. We are going to play physical defense and try to get back to our goal of winning the Super Bowl."
The expectations for the defense and the rest of the team are high, but the biggest expectations come from within.
"There is nothing to prove to anybody but ourselves," said Cameron Heyward. "We set lofty goals, we want to hit them. We are not going to be measured by what anybody else says. We have our goals in mind and the only way to accomplish that is go out and do it. The talking is done. It's time to get to work."
They said it: Heyward on being healthy: "It's been a long time. I am excited to get back out there."