What: Steelers minicamp
When: Tuesday, June 17 through Thursday, June 19
Who: All players are required to attend
Injuries: Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds was nursing a calf injury during OTAs, but is expected to participate to some degree. Steelers fullback Will Johnson rolled an ankle, but he should be ready to go.
As Ike Taylor called it in an interview conducted by Steelers.com reporter Teresa Varley, "It's baby training camp." Minicamp is fully mandatory for all players, and is what team use to lay the groundwork of what to expect come training camp, which begins July 25 in Latrobe, Pa.
While jobs won't be won or lost just based on players' performances in minicamp, it'll be important for the wide receivers battling for the team's final spot or two. Justin Brown has recently grabbed some time with the starters, while Darrius Heyward-Bey and Derrick Moye await their opportunity. Rookie Dri Archer is attending meetings for both running backs and wide receivers, and Johnson is in meetings with the running backs and tight ends.
It may be worth keeping an eye on Vic So'oto and Howard Jones - two undrafted free agents (Jones is a rookie) who have the physical ability to make an impact on the outside linebacker position battle. With Worilds and Jarvis Jones likely to enter camp with no competition for the starting positions, the depth on the team may still be up in the air. Chris Carter is in the final year of his rookie contract, and may have to fight through the end of training camp to stay with the team.
The progress of the rookie and second year defensive linemen will be a newsmaker as well. How rookies Dan McCullers and Stephon Tuitt can adapt to the defense could be the determining factor for roster inclusion for nose tackle Loni Fangupo and for playing time for free agent signee Cam Thomas.