The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys will be the first NFL organizations to head to training camp in just a few weeks. The reason those two franchises will be back to work earlier than the rest of the league is the fact they will be the two teams participating in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, OH this summer.
As players left mandatory minicamp a few weeks ago, head coach Mike Tomlin had a very clear and concise message for the 90-man offseason roster. When we meet back in Pittsburgh at the end of July, you better be ready.
“And now, the real work begins as we step away.” Tomlin told media after the final day of minicamp. “That is the thought I left the players with. We have to come into training camp a highly conditioned group ready for work.”
Overall, Tomlin viewed minicamp as a success, and is looking forward to seeing what this team can do when the pads are donned for the first time at the end of July.
“I’m excited as we move away the prospects of this group coming back to us and beginning the training camp process here in a month or so.”
As always, the primary focus during offseason workouts and training camp continues to be the young players. Veterans like Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt and Ben Roethlisberger have little to prove, but simply knocking off the proverbial offseason rust. But the young players who are still trying to prove themselves have everything on the line.
“Hopefully we are setting guys up and putting them in position to have the type of impact that we need them to have and they desire to have.” Tomlin said. “I never really measure or evaluate this component of the calendar until I assess 2021, so stay tuned. I do take good notes. I do like some of the things we were able to get done, but largely, I will reserve any judgement until I look at the journey.”
It was announced just over a week ago the Steelers will not be going to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for the second straight year. The team submitted a proposed plan to return back to the dormitories and Chuck Noll Field, but the NFL shot down the plan. The organization will be spending their training camp both at Heinz Field and the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in Pittsburgh.
Is there a benefit of staying in Pittsburgh? Advantages to the team compared to traveling off site?
“There are some advantages from a familiarity standpoint.” Tomlin added. “A guy can move around the building and understand how to move and not have that uneasiness associated with trying to find your way around here on gameday. But now that we have preseason games and things of that nature, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to gain that comfort. I just like the environment more than anything. I like the environment of Heinz Field and getting familiar with making plays in that space, and I think that it kind of helps in that way.”
The Steelers will report to training camp roughly around July 21st, the dates/times have not been made official yet, and the Steelers players will continue work to show up at camp in top condition. With some of the rumors circulating around the team this past offseason, there will be plenty of eyes on the team’s return at the end of the month.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.