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Mike Tomlin’s challenge to his team: Show up to camp in the best shape of your life

Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers have gone their separate ways, and Mike Tomlin left them with a simple message.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Organized Team Activities (OTAs) — Done

Mandatory Minicamp — Done

Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp at Saint Vincent College — July 25th

You can imagine this is what many young players’ calendars look like currently. And the task at hand now is to stay healthy, safe and out of trouble during the next month before heading to Latrobe, PA, for Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. But Head Coach Mike Tomlin left his young players with another message — show up to camp in the best shape of your life.

Every year, you see rookies who most likely feel they need to be bigger and stronger before heading into the professional ranks; however, what the game dictates today is for players to be conditioned, and sometimes that means losing weight — not gaining it.

James Conner is the perfect example of this.

After the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, Conner showed up to offseason workouts thinking he was in shape and ready. What happened were soft-tissue injuries which kept him off of the field.

Fast forward to this year’s offseason workouts, and all reports state Conner looks like a different man. Leaner, faster and better conditioned. Sometimes it takes players a season to understand this. It took Le’Veon Bell a season, and his game picked up tremendously in his sophomore season.

What Tomlin is trying to avoid is losing the year before the players finally “get it.” You can listen to what Tomlin told his players, as well as what he expects of Bell whenever he returns, plus his thoughts on the wrapping up of minicamp.

Listen to the full interview in the player below: