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Steelers News: Players discuss adjusting to virtual OTAs

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: DEC 08 Steelers at Cardinals Photo by Kevin Abele/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 several Steelers’ players are handling the virtual format of team meetings.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Steelers’ players are still connecting even though they aren’t on the field

A virtual learning curve

By: Teresa Varley,

Technology has come a long way, but never did Steelers’ players think technology would come so far that their offseason would be a virtual one.

While it obviously wasn’t by choice, it was the only way to go once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and kept players away from team facilities for workouts.

On a regular basis, players and coaches have meet this offseason via zoom, an app many players didn’t even know existed before March.

“It’s a cool experience,” said Steven Nelson. “I am glad to be a part of it. It was a smooth transition. The coaches gave us information. The players gave feedback. It’s a combination of information. A lot of it is critiquing last season and helping guys understand how to correct themselves on their own. It’s not challenging at all. It’s like taking online classes.”

Football players are very accustomed to routines, though. This is the time of year that they were normally in town for organized team activities (OTAs). Doing it from home isn’t routine at all. But they make it work because the coaches bring as much normalcy to it as possible, keeping the meeting schedule the same as it is when the players are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Like many NFL teams, the Steelers have depth issues at multiple positions

Steelers’ lack of depth no shallow concern

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

There are certainties in life. Death, taxes and injuries throughout an NFL season.

Every season as pundits discuss and debate the outcomes of a 16 game season, injuries are always discussed. Why? Because they always happen.

The 2019 Steelers know all about the injury bug running rampant through their roster, and crippling their chances at a postseason berth. The obvious injury, and most important, was the season-ending elbow injury to Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger’s injury in Week 2 vs. the Seahawks put the offense in a downward spiral they would never recover from. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges both tried, but neither succeeded when it mattered most.

But that wasn’t the extent of the Steelers’ injury woes last season:

JuJu Smith-Schuster: 4 games missed
James Conner: 6 games missed
Roosevelt Nix: 13 games missed
Benny Snell: 3 games missed
Jaylen Samuels: 2 games missed
Vance McDonald: 2 games missed
Mason Rudolph: 6 games missed
Vince Williams: 2 games missed
Stephon Tuitt: 10 games missed

These aren’t all the injuries sustained last year, but, as you can see, the Steelers lost some key players for an extended period of time on both sides of the football. While every team in the league suffers injuries, not all injuries are created equal. The loss of Roethlisberger, Conner and Smith-Schuster were crippling to the Steelers’ offense.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Missing out on training camp in Latrobe isn’t a concern for Steven Nelson

Steelers’ Steven Nelson: Moving camp to South Side ‘won’t have a great big effect’

By:Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

For the first time since before most of the parents of most of the current players were born, the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be headed to Saint Vincent College next month for training camp.

By directive of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell out of concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic, all teams are to hold training camps at their on-site facilities. While roughly two-thirds of the league does that anyway, this will mark a significant change in preseason routine for the Steelers. They have been training at Saint Vincent since 1966.

Veteran cornerback Steven Nelson, though, isn’t concerned that will impact the Steelers’ preparations for the season.

“I don’t think it’s going to have a great big effect on us,” Nelson said Thursday in a video conference call with media. “Coach (Mike) Tomlin runs a pretty tight ship, and it’s all about getting prepared and ready for battle. We’re are all professionals, so we can handle it.”

Tomlin is enamored with running his camp out of the Saint Vincent campus in Unity Township. He annually gushes about its benefits in terms of team-building and avoiding distractions.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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