What does a head coach tell his team as they are preparing to embark on their final break of the offseason before reporting to training camp on July 25th? "I want them to get in the best physical condition possible," Mike Tomlin told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "They don't have control over any of the challenges that are awaiting them in Latrobe. What they do have control over is the level of conditioning they show up in. That's been the consistent message from us."
For the next month many Pittsburgh Steelers players will be doing a myriad of things as their final break before the season begins at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA on July 25th. Some go on vacation to tropical destinations, some will go back to their college or university to train, some travel to their hometown to spend time with family and friends and some will not take time off and will continue to train either in Pittsburgh or another destination. To Tomlin, it doesn't matter to him, "as long as they're in great physical condition."
The message was clearly conveyed to the players as well, and many have no plans of time off, but simply to do their job and report to training camp ready for the 2015 season.
"We have to take advantage of our time off and be disciplined," Jarvis Jones said. "We have to keep doing the things that we've been doing, from conditioning to working on our game."
It has been a long time since the days of Casey Hampton failing the run test on the first day of training camp, but Tomlin certainly doesn't want to revert back to those days, and it seems the players are certainly on board with his philosophy.
Being in peak physical condition will go a long way towards the team's preparation in the preseason. Not only will it help with preventing some of those nagging hamstring and groin pulls which can lead to players dealing with the injury all season and keep them off the practice field, but it will also allow the coaching staff to simply focus on football.
With the Steelers still very young at several positions on the team, showing up to training camp in peak physical condition is certainly the least they could do to help the team get off on the right foot when the team reports to camp in July.