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Stephon Tuitt not present at the start of Pittsburgh Steelers OTAs

The Pittsburgh Steelers are starting Phase 3 of their OTAs Tuesday, and Stephon Tuitt is not present.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers Organized Team Activities (OTAs) have been ongoing for the past several months. They are broken down into three phases. Phase 1 is when teams can start working with the strength and conditioning staff, Phase 2 is when players can work with individual coaches and position-specific drills, but Phase 3 is the culminating event. In fact, it’s probably what most people think of when they think of OTAs.

Phase 3 of OTAs is when team drills can be run. 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and even 11-on-11 drills can take place. There is no contact or pads, but when it comes to “football in shorts” this is as close to football as it gets.

For the Steelers, there were several burning questions surrounding the team heading into this final phase of OTAs, and none were larger than the presence of Stephon Tuitt.

Tuesday, with the vast majority of the team present, Tuitt was not in attendance. It should be noted these workouts are strictly voluntary. Players can choose to attend, or not, and no punishment can be handed down for their absence.

In most cases, a player choosing to skip OTAs isn’t a big deal, but in Tuitt’s case fans want to know what the future holds for the defensive line standout. As reported by Will Graves of the Associate Press, Tuitt was not present Tuesday, and head coach Mike Tomlin reiterated the voluntary aspect of these workouts.

While OTAs are voluntary, mandatory minicamp, which is held a the end of OTAs, is exactly what it’s called — mandatory. Fans are clamoring for an answer with Tuitt, but they might have to wait a few weeks until they get an answer.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they continue through OTAs and minicamp.

UPDATE

Cam Heyward was interviewed post-practice and shared how he expects Tuitt to play this year. Knows he is putting in the work necessary. This per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: