The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Wednesday, 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 started last week, 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.
There was plenty of news on Day 5, 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...
Devin Bush is motivated
Last year at this time Devin Bush was just trying to get his knee back to some semblance of normalcy. He wasn’t able to fully train for an NFL season, and this is why many in the field say it can take two years for a player to fully recover from a traumatic injury like an ACL tear.
Wednesday Bush spoke with media for the first time and spoke about running on the beach, something he couldn’t do a year ago.
Devin Bush says he spent two months during the off-season doing things like running on the beach, which he couldn’t do a year ago. Said he understands team decision to not pick up 5th year option but says he has nothing to prove. Was already motivated enough by last year.— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) June 1, 2022
Bush repeatedly talked about how motivated he is to play well, or at least up to his standards. He acknowledged how last season he mentally wasn’t in a good space, and even talked about things happening in his life which didn’t help matters.
Check out the full interview below:
Devin Bush on feeling healthy, working with Coach Flores, the addition of Myles Jack and more. pic.twitter.com/912RuZcAFr— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) June 1, 2022
Kendrick Green giving guard a go
Earlier during Phase 3 of OTAs I said Kendrick Green should take a “the more you can do” approach to the 2022 season. It seemed, at the time, Green taking snaps at guard was nothing more than a fail safe in case something happened to Kevin Dotson. Now, Green said he feels he is far more comfortable at guard, primarily left guard, compared to center.
This per Nick Farabaugh:
Talked with Kendrick Green today. He said he feels far more comfortable at guard, and specifically left guard, than he did at center.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 1, 2022
When he was picked last year, he practiced center for the first time with the Steelers.
Says he prefers to play at guard moving forward.
It would make sense if Green feels more comfortable at guard, it was his predominant position while at the University of Illinois. Green might be all-in on guard, but the hope is he is becoming a well-rounded player who can help this offensive line in a multitude of ways. Just like Devin Bush, my what a year makes for some players’ development.
Mason Rudolph on mentorship
Say what you want about Mason Rudolph as a player, but kudos for him taking the high road when asked about mentoring someone like Kenny Pickett. When Rudolph was drafted Ben Roethlisberger was not very welcoming to the former Oklahoma State quarterback. It wasn’t Rudolph’s fault he was drafted, yet the relationship between Rudolph and Roethlisberger always seemed strained.
Rudolph doesn’t seem like he is ready to do the same to Pickett and/or Chris Oladokun, and that is worth noting.
Mason Rudolph on why he chooses to serve as a mentor for younger players even though he’s competing with them pic.twitter.com/ICHMzgMEcJ— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 1, 2022
For the full interview, check the player below:
Mason Rudolph on getting the rookies up to speed, changes to the offense, Coach Sullivan’s impact and more. pic.twitter.com/iaDOqGfBr7— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) June 1, 2022
James Daniels might just be the next offensive leader
This isn’t the first time James Daniels has been brought up when it comes to leadership, and being a leader. The man seems destined to shake off the dust from his first stint with the Chicago Bears, and hoping to reinvent himself in Pittsburgh.
This interaction, courtesy of Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports, is worth noting.
Najee is something else
When Najee Harris was the Steelers’ top draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, he hit the ground running. His honesty with the media has made him a fan favorite. When you watch the interview he did with Missi Matthews below you can see why teammates and fans love the guy.
Loudermilk on Year 2
With Stephon Tuitt out of the picture after his retirement, more pressure is going to fall on players like Isaiahh Loudermilk to step up his game in Year 2. He spoke with reporters about what he has been doing to improve his game this offseason and how he thinks he can help the team in 2022.
Connor Heyward on his 1st 2 weeks of NFL OTAs pic.twitter.com/lrdT9fZELS— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 1, 2022