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.
Mitch Trubisky saying all the right things about the Steelers drafting a QB after they signed him pic.twitter.com/IxusOwfVTS— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 24, 2022
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:
Mason Rudolph similarly diplomatic pic.twitter.com/ws8Mancvid— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 24, 2022
Couple questions I just had for Mason Rudolph: pic.twitter.com/0uTKQEx9f4— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) May 24, 2022
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.
Steelers wideouts working some sideline catches today at OTAs. Football! pic.twitter.com/l1UkaKHSfS— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) May 24, 2022
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:
Steelers guard Kevin Dotson said he was expecting what happened today at the first day of OTAs to happen — a competition with Kendrick Green for the starting left guard spot.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 24, 2022
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.
I think this might be a year where Buddy Johnson helps this defense. A year makes a huge difference— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 24, 2022
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”.
Kevin Dotson on not having Ben around:— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) May 24, 2022
"I think it's weird because there's nobody from the old time. There's nobody from the old legacy. So it's like now we are building our own culture. So we got to do what we can do & still play to the Steeler way & do what we can."#Steelers
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.
Quarterbacks working on their jet sweep handoffs on first day of OTAs for the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/AW9PoPYjPo— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) May 24, 2022
Quarterbacks and wide receivers doing things at Steelers OTAs pic.twitter.com/tiZiIqdeKm— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 24, 2022
Steelers linebacker coach Brian Flores instructs linebackers during drills at OTA’s today pic.twitter.com/QZeLt1XpZ4— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 24, 2022