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.
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...
Highsmith in attendance
Alex Highsmith is at OTAs and plans to keep working while awaiting a contract extension from Steelers.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) May 23, 2023
#Steelers LB Alex Highsmith going through individual drills at the start of OTAs this morning. Highsmith is entertaining the final year of his contract. @937theFan pic.twitter.com/24UCH36FYO— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) May 23, 2023
As was reported on my “Let’s Ride” podcast on Monday, it is expected Alex Highsmith will sign a contract extension before training camp, maybe sooner. Highsmith was in attendance for voluntary workouts, not thinking about holding out.
To hear the report of what Highsmith could get in his new contract, as well as other rumors from inside the Steelers facility, listen to the podcast in the player below:
Several not in attendance
#Steelers DL & OLBs working at OTAs. No T.J. Watt, Larry Ogunjobi or Armon Watts here. Very strong participation overall, including Alex Highsmith ahead of a potential contract extension. pic.twitter.com/ecwcpP4Tz9— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) May 23, 2023
While Highsmith was in attendance, some notable players weren’t. Mainly Larry Ogunjobi, T.J. Watt and Armon Watts.
Kenny Pickett said he finished last season at 213 pounds. So he made it a point to add bulk and is at 226 now.— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 23, 2023
A lot has been made of Kenny Pickett bulking up this offseason, and he’s done is successfully. He provided some numbers to those reports by stating he weighed 213 at the end of last season, but now weighs 226 heading into mandatory minicamp.
New FA signee CV Chandon Sullivan said he repped at nickel/a lot today. pic.twitter.com/7b2S8v2vmQ— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 23, 2023
New Steelers cornerback Chandon Sullivan said the coaches gave him a shot with the first-team D today in the slot. They signed him on Day 3 of the draft then released Arthur Maulet.— Brian Batko Blue Check (@BrianBatko) May 23, 2023
When Chandon Sullivan was signed during the 2023 NFL Draft, it signaled the end of the road for Arthur Maulet. After Maulet requested his release, and it was granted, it was Sullivan’s gain. Sullivan took first team reps in the slot.
Mitch Trubisky returns
Mitch Trubisky on signing an extension with the Steelers pic.twitter.com/GsRmHd6u4u— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 23, 2023
Why would Mitch Trubisky return to the Steelers? Wouldn’t he want a fresh start somewhere else after this season? Come to find out, he loves Pittsburgh, the coaches and his teammates. In other words, he wants to be in Pittsburgh.
Kevin Dotson notification center
Kevin Dotson on Herbig/Seumalo signings. “They called me when they signed Nate. And It was just like, we need depth, it'll be a competition and stuff like that. And then at like 1130 they signed Isaac, and then nobody called me after that.” Added wasnt sure if coaches knew yet.— Tim Benz (@TimBenzPGH) May 23, 2023
When the Steelers signed Nate Herbig, the coaches contacted Kevin Dotson to tell him. When they signed Isaac Seumalo? Not a word. Certainly makes for an awkward situation...
Hakeem Butler getting comfortable in his new digs
New Steelers WR Hakeem Butler, last of the XFL pic.twitter.com/2jISVMjabm— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 23, 2023
Hakeem is a huge receiver. Stands out from the pack. pic.twitter.com/n7IzZR1aE3— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 23, 2023
Hakeem Butler has a new lease on his NFL life with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was no offseason for Butler who just wrapped up his XFL season, but he seems happy to have an opportunity to try and turn his incredible potential into a roster spot on the Steelers’ roster in 2023.
Kenny Pickett on point for the first day of voluntary workouts @KDKA pic.twitter.com/vbWSs9ZTmd— Rich Walsh KDKA (@RichieWalsh) May 23, 2023
That’s a wrap on the Steelers first OTAs practice of this phase.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) May 23, 2023
Here’s some quarterbacks throwing some footballs. pic.twitter.com/pTO1MdLJfc
Idk if y’all heard, but Darnell Washington is a large man pic.twitter.com/9ri1wa5jjl— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) May 23, 2023
Pat Pete’s first practice as a Steeler pic.twitter.com/LjhaTQPqzY— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 23, 2023
No. 19 is out and working pic.twitter.com/hETnpFkxtO— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 23, 2023
The d-linemen and OLBs.— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 23, 2023
Among those not pictured in the group are TJ Watt and Larry Ogunjobi pic.twitter.com/xxG0l7nIAp
#Steelers Day 1 OTA offensive line work @937theFan pic.twitter.com/Ki6DMfk3rF— Jeff Hathhorn (@jhathhorn) May 23, 2023
Back at it pic.twitter.com/jCv1tcdOSl— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 23, 2023
OTA No. 1 included one of the first of many potential connections between Kenny Pickett and Darnell Washington. pic.twitter.com/wj53c5ILvZ— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 23, 2023
#Steelers Jaylen Warren w a little more beef @937theFan pic.twitter.com/l0dgcZnEKW— Jeff Hathhorn (@jhathhorn) May 23, 2023
#Steelers TE work. Wait for it Darnell wasn’t leaving on that note. @937theFan pic.twitter.com/kI9OdsPvdo— Jeff Hathhorn (@jhathhorn) May 23, 2023
️ ️ ️ pic.twitter.com/lFckJnenkj— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 23, 2023
3️⃣9️⃣ pic.twitter.com/UqpxFVcrOI— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 23, 2023
Kenny Pickett spoke to the media about bulking up this offseason, the moments to build on from last year, and more. pic.twitter.com/pKh8A6Hetd— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) May 23, 2023
Alex Highsmith spoke to the media about coaching up the young guys, if T.J. Watt is a better golfer than him, and more. pic.twitter.com/kmtq0opuq0— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) May 23, 2023
Damontae Kazee, Calvin Austin III and Joey Porter Jr. spoke with the media following the first day of OTAs. pic.twitter.com/opTDulFtWQ— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) May 23, 2023
Cam Heyward. pic.twitter.com/HHBKf2uhrH— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 23, 2023
Battle of the mullets— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) May 23, 2023
Pottenbaum vs Holcomb pic.twitter.com/AvAMOaaHBX
Steelers just wrapped up their first OTA practice pic.twitter.com/KeyqACTSum— Brian Batko Blue Check (@BrianBatko) May 23, 2023