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Steelers News: Still getting in work with virtual OTAs

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: DEC 22 Steelers at Jets Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how some of the players are preparing for the season with virtual OTAs.

Let’s get to the news:

  • In the absence of full-team workouts, players on the Steelers are focused on winning in 2020

Business as Usual: Steelers Not Letting Virtual OTAs Slow Them

By: Noah Strackbein, Sports Illustrated

Without being able to step onto the field at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in Southside, the Steelers are spending Organized Team Activities at home, by themselves.

It’s an unusual offseason for everyone, but for the players trying to train for the 2020 season, it’s a bit of a challenge. Instead of working at team facilities, or even working together, for the most part, players are asked to spend their spring training by themselves in order to be ready for whenever the season does happen.

“This whole pandemic has been crazy. I have been just staying to myself, still trying to get in the work,” Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson told reporters last week. “I am getting through it. The rest of the guys on the team are doing the same thing as well. I am just staying out of the way and staying ready.”

That’s the reality for these players. Right now, they’re working as much as they can through iPads and laptops, without knowing much about when anything will change.

Johnson said he’s spending time at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s house training. Still, he’s doing so thinking he may not return to an actual football field until later in the summer.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Steven Nelson discusses the high expectations he has for himself as a player

Flipping a switch

By: Teresa Varley,

This is the time of year when NFL players are normally on the field, taking part in OTAs, getting in a good workout and sweat as they take the first big step to prepare for season.

Steven Nelson wishes he was in Pittsburgh right now with his teammates doing just that. But he understands why he isn’t. He gets it.

Rest assured, though, he is still getting a good sweat on a regular basis.

“For the past month, me and a couple of guys have been working out in and out of garages in about 100-degree weather,” said Nelson, who is in Arizona. “That itself helps you with conditioning. We do a lot of sprints, speed work. It’s been good. We have been able to improvise so whenever they do call, we will be ready.

“Nobody is getting an advantage on anybody else. We are all out on our own throughout the NFL. We are modifying our normal workouts. I think that is a good thing.”

Nelson, who has been taking part in the Steelers virtual offseason program, said all of the work will help him be ready when the time does come to all be together again. He is also hoping the work will help him have a similar type of season in 2020 that he had in 2019.

* * *

The statistic is impressive.

Cornerback Steven Nelson played over 1,000 snaps in 2019 at a position that can be very unforgiving. And he gave up…zero touchdowns. Yes, that is zero touchdowns in 1,000 plus snaps.

That is a stat any cornerback would be thrilled with. And it’s something you better believe Nelson is proud of.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • DK relives his column from the Steelers 18-16 victory over the Bengals in the 2015 playoffs

Classic Grind: Winners will win, losers will lose … forevermore let it ring through Cincy

By: Dejan Kovacevic, DK Pittsburgh Sports

Jan. 9, 2016:

Mike Tomlin and James Harrison had somehow gotten word.

The Steelers were making their exit, stage left into Paul Brown Stadium’s visiting tunnel, late Saturday night, and the din down there was as thick as the downpour outside. The athletes were hooting and hollering, their dancing cleats clattering, their soggy backsides getting celebratory slaps moments after sensationally besting the Bengals, 18-16, in what forever should be remembered as the AFC Wild Wilder And Wildest Card game. And that noise was nothing next to the nearby fuss from the vocal, often violent football fans of this otherwise fair city, hanging over the tunnel railings to berate or pelt anyone who passed underneath.

“They got me with popcorn!” Jarvis Jones would exclaim later. “You believe that? Who hits anyone with popcorn? What’s that?”

“Crazy,” Vince Williams echoed across the way. “Just crazy. On the field. On the sidelines. In the stands. Everywhere.”

“Not like anything I’ve seen in my career,” Marcus Gilbert said.

Tomlin, too, seemed taken aback when calling it “a tough, tough, hostile environment.”

But even amid all that, Tomlin and Harrison had heard inside that tunnel, right after the team strikingly ran off the field in unison — more on that later — that Ben Roethlisberger was the last of the Steelers still out there. He was still surrounded by cameras and microphones near the 20-yard line, still taking questions.

So Tomlin and Harrison went back out. And they didn’t walk. They went full-bore sprint.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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