The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field for their first non-mandatory OTAs, and it marked the official beginning of the 2016 preparations. With a Super Bowl-or-bust mentality, take a look at what went down at the Rooney UPMC Practice Facility Tuesday for the first workout.
Ben Roethlisberger is pumped
You usually don't hear much about Roethlisberger in OTAs. He will speak to the media once or twice and give the usual sound bytes, but most of the time has a "I'd rather be on the golf course" attitude. As a veteran, often times you don't get as excited for these workouts, but this year is different.
It has been reported how Roethlisberger is in phenomenal shape, but when Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer-Reporter states the following, it peaks my interest.
Ben Roethlisberger sprinted out the doors to the practice fields behind the Rooney Sports Complex as if he were coming out of the tunnel prior to the Super Bowl.
"New year baby," Roethlisberger yelled to nobody in particular. "Let's go."
It was a display of enthusiasm not typically seen from the veteran quarterback but one that belied his excitement regarding the upcoming season.
Big Ben is pumped, and that gets me pumped.
Le'Veon Bell and Maurkice Pouncey return
Remember how the Steelers were a fumble and defensive stop away from the AFC Championship game in 2015? That was without two of their better offensive players for the majority, or all, of the season. Maurkice Pouncey and Le'Veon Bell were back on the field with their teammates Tuesday, and although Bell only participated in position drills, he is confident he will be back and ready to go before Week 1 of the regular season.
Near perfect attendance
The Steelers have 90 players on their offseason roster, and they had 89 players in attendance for Day 1 of OTAs. The missing player? Wide receiver Antonio Brown who has commitments to uphold with the ABC show Dancing with the Stars was the only absentee.
No, he isn't holding out for a new contract.
Alan Faneca back as an assistant coach
A familiar face is helping out as an assistant coach throughout offseason workouts and training camp, and that is Alan Faneca.
The Hall of Fame finalist will be a great mentor, and sounding board, for the current No. 66 on the team's roster -- David DeCastro. Faneca is largely considered the best offensive guard in Steelers history, and with DeCastro coming off a Pro Bowl, Faneca could be a great mentor for he and the rest of the offensive line heading into 2016.
Photos, Tweets and Videos
"It's good to get back out here, put the helmet on and compete a little bit."https://t.co/g1VVmLyBuk— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 24, 2016
Man it feels good to have the team back on the field working during OTAs.— Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) May 24, 2016
Mike Tomlin observing John Mitchell making sure the defensive linemen come off the ball. pic.twitter.com/8nlBc0XDPM— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 24, 2016
Daniel McCullers, Cam Heyward, L.T. Walton, Stephon Tuitt. pic.twitter.com/U9rmYzMj3R— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 24, 2016
Ryan Shazier and his fellow LBs hit the sled. pic.twitter.com/WQogggNZfI— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 24, 2016
Todd Haley making sure Sammie Coates goes up for the ball and comes down in bounds. pic.twitter.com/ee1HfADRkz— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 24, 2016