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Steelers OTAs Recap Day 10: Defense getting exotic, and praise for the prized rookie

The Pittsburgh Steelers put a bow on their OTAs, and it’s time to recap all that went down on the 10th and final workout.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Training Camp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially wrapped up their 2018 Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in all three phases. With the on-field portion of the workouts completed, you think back to the key story lines coming from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Of course the biggest news was either Ben Roethlisberger’s comments regarding Mason Rudolph, or the overall attendance, or lack thereof, by the ‘Killer B’s’. What wasn’t discussed much, though, outside of Rudolph, were players in the team’s rookie class.

Especially Terrell Edmunds.

The team’s first-round pick seems to keep a low profile, and that isn’t a bad thing. There’s something to be said about someone who simply puts his head down and grinds. But at the same time, fans want to hear glowing reports about the team’s prized rookie draft choice.

While Mike Tomlin spoke more about “team building” at Dave & Busters recently than he has about football throughout OTAs, he was very vocal in his praise — and criticism — of Edmunds during one of the secondary drills at Thursday’s workout.

Check out the video below, courtesy of ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:

You can hear Tomlin praising Edmunds’ footwork, but he’s not happy with his hand usage in this particular drill. Sure, it’s just one video, but Edmunds looking comfortable on the biggest stage is something worth noting. If you recall other players in their first OTAs, there are some where the stage seems too big and the lights too bright.

Not Edmunds. Tomlin clearly sees the raw potential in this player, and he’s going to do whatever it takes to get every ounce of potential out of him. I can say I’m extremely excited at the prospect of seeing No. 34 in black-and-gold making plays this preseason.

Time to get through some other news on the Steelers in their last workout:

Exotic is the name of the game...

No, I’m not talking about exotic dancers. The Steelers are wisely using this time to test out some new formations and packages with unique tweaks and twists to them.

A lot of news was made earlier in OTAs when Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt took practice repetitions on opposite sides from the OLB positions they played last season. But this news would be particularly intriguing. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the team has been practicing a formation where Watt and Dupree are lined up on the same side.

I’m nowhere near smart enough to dissect how this style of approach would or could impact the team’s defense, but it might be a sign of things to come in the upcoming season. In other words, expect the unexpected.

What now?

The Steelers have wrapped up OTAs, and next comes mandatory minicamp. No more voluntary workouts...just mandatory workouts. These workouts are three days long, and start Tuesday June 12th. You can bet we’ll have all the latest news and notes for you on who is there, who isn’t, and what’s going down at the team’s headquarters.

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