The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the 2021 regular season, and a part of that preparation is when players come together to work on their craft. This means different events like Organized Team Activities (OTAs), rookie minicamp and mandatory minicamp.
As of Thursday, those dates are now set for the black and gold. This per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Official offseason dates for the Steelers— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 6, 2021
Rookie Minicamp: May 14-16
OTAs: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory Minicamp: June 15-17
The first event up is rookie minicamp. This provides the nine drafted rookies, eight undrafted rookies and some rookie invites to come into Pittsburgh, get acclimated and show the coaching staff what they can do when given a chance.
In a typical year, OTAs are basically an extension of mandatory minicamp. The only difference is OTAs are not mandatory. This fact has made news this year as several teams, including the Steelers, have told their owners they won’t be showing up at OTAs this year.
There are several phases of OTAs, and they are currently in Phase 1 which consists of nothing more than workouts with the training staff. Here is a description of each phase, per the NFL:
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
There is the lay of the land, and while the Steelers did say they wouldn’t be attending voluntary workouts, several players have been taking advantage of the work with the coaching staff while some stay away from the team facility.
Throughout every stretch of the offseason, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.