As the Pittsburgh Steelers wrap up their first week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, one thing which hasn’t been discussed much are the new rule changes in the NFL. While the rules of pass interference haven’t changed, the fact the play is considered reviewable is certainly new.
Defensive players have already been figuratively handcuffed by the rules not allowing a defender to even touch an offensive player while they are attempting to catch the football. Now, teams, and officials, will be pouring over replay footage hoping to catch a hand on the back, a slight pull on the jersey or even the grazing of a shoulder pad.
It really does make playing defense an almost impossible task.
And that is exactly what Terrell Edmunds was talking about after practice on Thursday to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. He labeled it as ‘tough’, stating you have to rely more on other aspects of your game, footwork, etc. to help you get by without a ridiculous number of penalties.
Check out the video below:
Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds said new pass interference rules will be ‘tough' but will incentivize defensive backs to use their feet more than their hands. pic.twitter.com/ggh2aZllxv— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 23, 2019
- Do-it-all Sutton Smith
Sutton Smith has been labeled as undersized for a pass rusher, but you might not know the Steelers actually have been giving him reps on the offensive side of the football too. He lined up a full back for a short time Thursday, and talked about how he is willing to do whatever it takes to make the team. Wise words from a rookie.
Sutton Smith is willing to do whatever is asked of him. pic.twitter.com/fndxvfbWxy— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 23, 2019
- Ben Roethlisberger still here
Roethlisberger doesn’t practice much anymore. Not during the season, and certainly not in OTAs. But even though he wasn’t on the field during live offense vs. defense sessions, doesn’t mean he wasn’t present and still helping. James Washington spoke with Mark Kaboly of The Athletic on what it meant to see Roethlisberger there, even though he wasn’t taking any live reps.
Asked James Washington what it means to have 16-year vet Ben Roethlisberger attend voluntary OTA3 today knowing that he wasn't going to participate because of a scheduled day off: "He wants a Super Bowl ... the guy wants to be out here with his teammates and get to know guys."— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 23, 2019
- Number geeks take note
For those of you out there who love keeping up with jersey numbers, there have already been some changes. If you are looking to buy any rookie jersey, wait until the season starts to do so, unless it is Devin Bush’s jersey, his number won’t be changing. Anymore, every season a player might change their number. Just a few years ago Sean Davis, Mike Hilton and Stevan Ridley all changed numbers before the season since numbers were vacated by players leaving.
A couple of number changes for the Steelers. Sutton Smith is now 42, Tuzar Skipper is now 51 and Zach Gentry is now 81— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 23, 2019
The 1️⃣st week of OTAs is in the books.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 24, 2019
Missi and Mike break down everything that happened from the sidelines. pic.twitter.com/cd7GUXETNS
Steelers using boxing gloves on sticks to practice avoiding having the football punched out pic.twitter.com/7GB5xaJI36— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) May 23, 2019
I caught up with @suttonsmith5 (#42 defense) after practice today about working with the #Steelers offense for part of practice. His interview will be up shortly on https://t.co/lpUa8m5Ig5. pic.twitter.com/i1PFmfjNKo— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) May 23, 2019