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Steelers OTAs Recap, Day 1: Quarterback talk dominates the first practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back at practice, and all the talk was about the quarterbacks.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Tuesday, and for those who haven’t been paying attention this isn’t breaking news. The Steelers have been participating in OTAs for the last few months, but Phase 3, which just started, gets the most news.

In case you don’t know, Phase 1 of OTAs is essentially just workouts with the strength and conditioning staff, Phase 2 is more position specific training/drills and Phase 3 is the most football-like of all OTAs. It is Phase 3 which is where teams can do 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. No contact, no pads, but plenty of news to go around. Before going any further, it is important to note these workouts are 100% voluntary.

Some topics which won’t be discussed in this article, because they were covered yesterday on the site, are:

There was plenty of news on Day 1 which wasn’t just the aforementioned topics, and in this article I will dive into those, as well as share some video fans might enjoy checking out!

Let’s get to the news...

Quarterbacks take center stage

Steelers quarterbacks, no big deal, right? It isn’t like the Steelers are having a competition for the starting quarterback for the first time since 2004. Of course everyone would be interested in the quarterbacks on Day 1. Fans were watching videos and pointing out the early pecking order for drills, watching the tightness of spirals and even the overall demeanor of the players.

All eyes were on the quarterbacks, but it was after the practice was over when the locker room was open when quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph answered questions about the offseason, and current workouts.

Some news surrounding these discussions were how Trubisky said the Steelers did not tell him they were going to draft a quarterback when he signed, contrary to reports.

In other news, Rudolph remains as bland as ever, and this is all intentional. Doesn’t seem like a quarterback who is shying away from a competition of any kind.

Videos courtesy of Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports:

The Steelers did not make their two rookie quarterbacks, Kenny Pickett and Chris Oladokun, available to the media. It would be a logical assumption they will be answering questions at some point this week.

QBs and WRs

Below if a video from Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Some will watch this and just move on, but watch the quarterbacks as much as you do the receivers. Each quarterback takes equal repetitions as receivers run their routes.

Side Note: Calvin Austin III (No. 19) is REALLY fast.

The more you can do

After Day 1 a lot was made of Kendrick Green both taking repetitions at guard, as well as center. Fans jumped all over this news, but should it have come as a shock to anyone. The Steelers went out in free agency and signed two players, Mason Cole and James Daniels, who can play all three interior offensive line positions. Obviously they are trying to give themselves as many options as possible at center this year.

On top of that, if Green is smart he takes a “the more you can do” approach to his game and tries to prove his worth at every position. Mike Tomlin loves position versatility, and if Green can’t be the main man at center, there is a chance he could beat out Kevin Dotson for the left guard position.

This from Mark Kaboly of The Athletic:

Buddy Johnson the forgotten ILB?

Throughout the offseason, especially with the signing of Myles Jack, there has been a lot of talk about the Steelers inside linebackers. One player who was never mentioned much was Buddy Johnson.

The former 4th round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft could be the thumper fans want to see next to a Devin Bush or Myles Jack. It would be nice to see the former Texas A&M standout to step up in Year 2.

No Big Ben

As stated earlier, this is the first year since 2004 Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger will not be in attendance for any of the Steelers’ offseason workouts. This isn’t just felt in the quarterback room, but also in the locker room throughout the entire team.

Kevin Dotson gave some revealing quotes, courtesy of Will Graves from the Associate Press, in regards to what it is like without someone from the “old time” and the “old legacy”.

Jet Sweeps are here to stay

As if Steelers fans needed a reason to hate Matt Canada more, it looks like those fan-favorite jet sweeps are here to stay. Don’t think so? Do you think they would be practicing them this closely on Day 1 of OTAs if it wasn’t going to remain a staple in the offense? If you love them, this is your day! If you hate them, sorry for your luck.