Week Three of OTAs spotlights growth

The Steelers participate in Day 10 of the 2016 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Notes and quotes from Week Three of OTAs:

THIS BUD'S IN BLOOM: For young players such as second-year OLB Bud Dupree, OTAs offer a then-and-now perspective that was unavailable as a rookie.

"Just like all my young guys, I want to see them get a little better than they were a year ago," outside linebackers coach Joey Porter said. "He has had time to look at the stuff he did last year and he can judge himself where he is now."

The strides Dupree has made since last season have been obvious and audible this time around in OTAs.

"I catch him out there helping the young guys and the new guys on defense," Porter continued. "He said, 'I never thought I would be able to help somebody.' But that shows how far along he has come with this defense. He feels comfortable enough to give the other guys some knowledge of the game.

"That's a beautiful thing that shows his growth."


WELCOME BACK BIG RED:** Alan Faneca last played for the Steelers in 2007 and in the NFL in 2010, but the six-time first-team All-Pro guard is back as a volunteer assistant for the team that drafted him on the first round in 1998 out of LSU.

And offensive line coach Mike Munchak, a Hall-of-Fame guard in his playing days with the Houston Oilers, is happy to have such expert assistance available.

"He's a great person for me to talk to, another resource who's done it and did it for a long time at a very high level," Munchak said. "I think the players have someone to talk to, to get different points of view on how he saw the game. And that's been helpful to me, as he's looking into possibly coaching going forward. It's been good for both of us.

"Having him here now and learning our system like a player, really, he can help us as we get into training camp and get more active as a coach, see how he likes it. I'm sure he'll do a great job. He has a great feel for the game. He's really been an asset for us."

BABY STEPS: Defensive coordinator Keith Butler likes what he's seen from third-round pick Javon Hargrave, a defensive lineman from South Carolina State.

"Quick, really nimble feet," Butler assessed. "He really moves well for a big man. You don't think a guy that big can move the way he does. He's really good with that and we think it's going to translate.

"He's a pretty good rusher, another pretty good rusher for us, so we'll see."

Butler intends to maintain that wait-and-see approach.

He isn't about to declare the depth question along the defensive line addressed based on what he's seen from Hargrave or any other unproven player at OTAs.

"I think we'll be OK, but again, you're guessing right now," Butler said. "There's no cold, hard facts about how they will do in pads. Doing something in pads in college is different than doing it in the NFL.

"They'll have to adjust to that, we'll see."

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