The Pittsburgh Steelers were back to work on Tuesday with their second week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), and their 4th workout overall. With the workout came a new set of players to speak with the media, and a little taste of football for the rabid fans looking to cling to anything even resembling football.
Well, in the Steel City, they have a ridiculous position battle on their hands, and it is starting even in spring workouts in shorts. That would be none other than the wide receiver race.
Clearly, the following players are near locks to make the team’s 53-man roster.
Assuming the Steelers will keep 6 receivers, the following players will be vying for just two spots.
There has been a lot of speculation on the race for those final spots, two of those receivers in the midst of the position battle gave some interesting quotes following Tuesday’s workout.
Demarcus Ayers on the 11 WRs the Steelers have:— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 30, 2017
"Everybody here will either make this team or make another team – we’re all just that good."
Darrius Heyward-Bey on if there's enough seats for all the 11 WRs in the WR room:— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 30, 2017
"I’m just trying to keep my seat. It’s comfortable, too."
Ayers may have a point. If the Steelers try to stash him on the practice squad, there is a strong likelihood he gets poached to another team in need of a receiver who can play the slot, and return kicks. As for Heyward-Bey’s comments, his knowledge and versatility make a strong case for him to stick around for another season.
Trying to think of a time when the Steelers were this loaded with potential, and talent, at the receiver position is a task. One might even say this type of position battle is unprecedented under Mike Tomlin.
This battle is just starting to heat up...
Sammie Coates’ Finger
Speaking of the wide receiver race, Sammie Coates spoke to the media for the first time this offseason, and was very open when talking about his finger injury, which he chose not to have surgery on, and even gave some media members an up-close-and-personal look at the mangled digit.
Take a look for yourselves...
Steelers Sammie Coates opted NOT to have surgery on his broken, crooked finger. Here it is: pic.twitter.com/TSzLfAJGex— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) May 30, 2017
‘You want to see it?’ Steelers WR Sammie Coates shows off the hand with multiple broken fingers that marginalized his production in 2016. pic.twitter.com/SVh3JA9KHF— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 30, 2017
There were reports earlier this offseason of safety Sean Davis having shoulder surgery this offseason. Last week Davis shrugged off the questions and reports, but Tuesday announced he in fact had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Sean Davis had surgery to repair a labrum tear after the season. Injured in three weeks into the season last year #Steelers— Dale Lolley (@dlolleyor) May 30, 2017
The fact he played the majority of the season with this injured shoulder is impressive enough, which makes you wonder what he will play like with two healthy shoulders. After Monday’s workout Davis spoke to the media and announced that last year was the worst he will ever play as a professional.
If Davis wasn’t on your “must watch” list for 2017...he should be now.
Sean Davis talks about recovering from his shoulder injury, and the youth of the defense. pic.twitter.com/5m6eMKEd6z— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 30, 2017
James Conner back
The Steelers’ 3rd round draft pick James Conner was back on the practice field for the first time since rookie minicamp. Conner missed last week’s OTAs with a hamstring strain, but seems to be on the mend getting quality reps this offseason.
James Conner back at work pic.twitter.com/bqeBb6F3R5— Chris Bradford (@BCTBradford) May 30, 2017
Pictures / Videos
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/4FKugdXbUa— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 30, 2017
Steelers QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs throwing on the run. pic.twitter.com/lzvVz4OeBh— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 30, 2017
#Steelers NT Dan McCullers came into OTAs noticeably slimmer from last season ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/omLOfq947p— Chris Mueller (@bychrismueller) May 30, 2017
#Steelers ILB Tyler Matakevich said that two focuses this offseason were improving hip mobility and lateral movement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/a3hPiC83pf— Chris Mueller (@bychrismueller) May 30, 2017
Mike Mitchell, Sean Davis in cone drills. Davis practiced with a hoody on in 79 degree weather ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nmuhoVLrzh— Chris Mueller (@bychrismueller) May 30, 2017
DeCastro, O-line work during Day 4 of OTAs on South Side pic.twitter.com/eBQYzZWDpJ— Chris Bradford (@BCTBradford) May 30, 2017
Tomlin looks on as DBs, including Sean Davis, go through drills. pic.twitter.com/6C8qGbjlNC— Chris Bradford (@BCTBradford) May 30, 2017
Ben Roethlisberger getting to know free-agent wide receiver Justin Hunter. pic.twitter.com/1sA32CODi3— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 30, 2017
Stephon Tuitt watching the Steelers D-line drill during OTAs pic.twitter.com/gMIOpBEWUc— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 30, 2017