The Pittsburgh Steelers announced their 2023 training camp schedule on Friday, and players are already talking about the annual trip to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. Returning players know what this is all about, and new players have heard about what to expect when in the hills of western Pennsylvania.
Those new players, who were acquired via free agency, are ready to get to work and see what all the talk is about.
“I am looking forward to it,” said linebacker Cole Holcomb. “I have heard a lot about Latrobe and what goes on over there, so I am excited.”
“When you go to camp it’s football 24/7,” said Holcomb. “You aren’t going to get that amount of focus and time if you are going back to the house, have the wife and kids around, things like that.
“It allows you to eliminate any outside distractions, which I think is important.”
Holcomb’s linebacker mate, Elandon Roberts, is excited for the fact the team will be together 24/7 when at camp. It helps build camaraderie and prepare the team for a long and grueling season.
“I think from a team camaraderie standpoint it can do great things,” said Roberts. “Right after practice, even if guys go right to the hotel where you are staying, you aren’t talking to your teammates. I feel like this type of setting is beneficial from a leadership standpoint. You see guys around the dorm, and you can learn about a guy you didn’t know anything about. It’s beneficial from a camaraderie standpoint.”
Safety Keanu Neal also sees this as a tremendous opportunity to build chemistry, to get to know one another and improve the team.
“I think being in one space together as a collective team builds chemistry, allows us to get to know each other, allows us to be around each other more, which is good to get an understanding of people outside of football,” said Neal. “That helps us out on the field building relationships.
“It’s all about connecting. Getting to know people. Getting a feel for them. This part of OTAs, minicamp and training camp benefits me getting to know everyone, how they are on the field and off the field and making those connections.”
When you look at the three defenders who commented on their first training camp this summer, you also have to view it from a defensive perspective. The offense returns a tremendous amount, while the defense will see a tremendous amount of turnover. Holcomb, Roberts and Neal will be tasked with providing quality playing time during their first stints with the team. Being together with their teammates will only help them develop the needed chemistry to come out of the gate strong and ready to play.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.