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Pittsburgh Steelers News: The weekend wrap-up

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Considering it is the middle of our long offseason, there was plenty of Steelers news this week. Here's a recap.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the offseason, there are few moments where actual news takes place. This past week certainly had this with the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting their first week of Organized Team Activities, which also had players speaking to the media for the first time this offseason.

See what you might have missed in the past week...


OTAs were the biggest news this week, with the Black and Gold taking hitting the field bare-legged (avoiding the phrase "in shorts" since there were grumblings that that phrase is overused). Players new to the team, like first-round draft pick Bud Dupree and recently-signed DeAngelo Williams-- discussed their efforts to learn the playbook, while veterans focused on making the necessary improvements to win football games and another championship.

Ike Taylor was on the field in a coach-like role, which provided some awkward moments for William Gay. "Ike's a coach, which is funny," he said. "Not sure what to call him. Ike, or brother, or Coach Taylor."


After saying his knee was not at 100%, Le'Veon Bell declared that he was feeling as awesome as can be earlier in the week, tweeting, "I for SURE got better today! Feeling so much better."

Jarvis Jones, on the other hand-- speaking of hands--, is still recovering from the dislocated wrist he suffered last season. With pressure to perform, JJ's health and recovery are critical to his future with the team. In many ways this is a make-or-break season for the Steelers 2013 first-round pick who has yet to play to his full potential.

It was also revealed that Mike Mitchell had offseason surgery on his groin and had played most of the 2014 season injured. He claims he is nearly completely healed and only suffers from "occasional pain."

Character Problems & NFL Drama

Ray McDonald was arrested for domestic violence earlier in the week and subsequently released from the Bears. In even more disturbing news, the Falcons released Prince Shembo after he allegedly killed is ex-girlfriend's dog.

Meanwhile, there was the appearance of league-level favoritism as the date for Tom Brady's appeal has been announced, while Le'Veon Bell is still waiting on his. Thankfully, there was also news this week that one state has limited Roger Goodell's power for NFL employees when it comes to arbitration (good job, Missouri).

Solid Character & Feel-Good News

Younger players universally praised James Harrisonfor his mentorship and leadership during the offseason, amid speculation about the role Harrison will play this year on the squad.

In other feel-good news, Vince Williams and Terence Garvin have an awesome handshake. Wow.  And we found out when Vince Williams doesn't feel like sticking to his diet, he looks at his Deebo poster for motivation.

High Praise and Recognition for Players

Martavis Bryant was on's top 20 breakout players list, which should not be a surprise to Steelers fans who benefited from his tremendous speed and playmaking abilities during last season. Meanwhile, Jerome Bettis predicted that Le'Veon Bell could become one of the best running backs of all-time.

DeAngelo "Cool Visor" Williams has been the subject of some skepticism and is clearly coming into this season with a chip on his shoulder. Williams was clear in post-OTA interviews that he is more than ready to step in for Le'Veon Bell during his suspension and contribute throughout the rest of the season as well. Our own Byan DeArdo predicted Williams will be a success in '15.


Sammie Coates got to try on his new uniform at the #NFLPA Rookie Premiere, while Gerod Holliman was finally signed to a contract. Many other rookies mentioned their struggles and successes when it comes to learning the playbook and adjusting to the pace of the NFL.

The Steelers continue their OTAs this week with workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.