'We have to bring the trophy here'

After four months of offseason preparation, today it all gets real.

The Steelers have their 53-man roster set, or as set as a roster is in season, and practice starts today as they prepare to open the season in Cleveland on Sunday.

"I am extremely excited," said Antonio Brown. "You work all year and prepare all year for that moment to get here. Now that it's here, you are extremely excited and grateful. I am excited to be a part of something special and ready to roll."

T.J. Watt, who was sidelined the entire preseason with a hamstring injury, is chomping at the bit for game day to finally arrive.

"It couldn't come soon enough for me," said T.J. Watt. "I had the injury all training camp. I am back, I am healthy, and I am excited to get out there and play for Steelers Nation."

The Steelers go into the season loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, with weapons everywhere.

"When we start clicking, when we start playing Steelers football, we are tough to beat," said Roosevelt Nix. "I know it's going to be fun. I know it's going to be a show."

One of those show-stoppers no doubt will be Brown.

"I like that we are a high-potent, high efficiency group of guys who hold each other accountable," said Brown. "After every practice we are watching mental errors, watching drops. We are a group that has been together for a lot of years. I think we are a hungry group excited about the opportunities and winning.

"We have to find a way to bring the trophy here. Whatever that entails. Scoring points, whatever that entails, we have to find a way to win."

Starting fast: Getting out of the gates fast is definitely a key, and with an AFC North game up first, there is no room for a slow start to stay in step in the division.

"You get a good start early, and we have a tough schedule early in the season, especially starting with Cleveland," said Ramon Foster. "We have to be a team that isn't chasing. You don't want to be 0-1, 0-2, whatever the case may be."

There has been a lot of talk about potential on the roster, but without a fast start, that potential is just that.

"It's needed," said Nix. "We need to prove, we need to show people this is who we are and this is what we do."

Take a look at the Steelers 53-man roster heading into Week 1 of the 2018 season.

Making the calls: The Steelers offense will face their first test under new coordinator Randy Fichtner, and the players have confidence that he will have them ready to go when they take on the Browns.

"Randy is a great offensive coordinator," said Nix. "He has been an (college) offensive coordinator before. He is easy to understand, he talks to us. He vocalizes a lot, there is a lot of teaching. I enjoy that.

"It's definitely a smooth transition. He has done an excellent job of getting us prepared."

Fichtner is no stranger to the parts that make up the offense, understanding everyone's strengths and putting everyone in a position to succeed.

"Randy is a smart guy," said Foster. "He knows what positions to have us in, what type of situations he wants us in. His play calling is one of those things where he wants us to be fire high coming into the season. We don't have to have what you call a starters lag in a sense where everybody is just getting going. Randy is a guy who is keeping us in tune, giving us Cleveland reps and he is a guy who fully understands what starting fast means.

"It's awesome when you have a guy like him, in house, knows the program, knows the guys, then you aren't trying to figure out what to do. We have all been saying it for a while that we are surprised he didn't have an (NFL) offensive coordinator job before now. We are excited to execute for him and make plays for him."

Advertising