The Pittsburgh Steelers generally don’t go with trends, preferring instead to do things on their own terms and set the pace.
That’s why, while other NFL teams are holding some players-only workouts among offensive and defensive units or certain positions. The Steelers, for the most part, have worked out on their own just like they normally do in the offseason after Organized Team Activities (OTAs) have ended.
There were no OTAs this year due to the NFL lockout, so Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got together with some receivers at a Pittsburgh-area high school. But the defense, in particular, has not organized anything for the unit. That’s OK, says safety Ryan Clark, because rest is more important for the veteran group.
Several Steelers defensive players have worked out on their own, but Ike Taylor, James Farrior and William Gay usually do that during the offseason with veteran conditioning coach Tom Shaw in Orlando, Fla. About 20 players join the Steelers to comprise Shaw’s team.
That group also got together in Atlanta to go up against trainer Chip Smith’s team from Competitive Edge Sports that featured about 30 Oakland Raiders players led by defensive end Richard Seymour and quarterback Jason Campbell. The session featured non-contact 7-on-7 drills between the two groups.
It was so productive that a return match will be held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. sometime in June. While Roethlisberger’s work with his wide receivers can be just as effective as OTAs in the spring, as far as timing and group chemistry, the defense can hardly accomplish the same thing.
Safety Troy Polamalu, who usually trains on the West Coast, has said he’ll join his teammates in Florida this year. And second-year wideout Antonio Brown also has said he’ll participate sometime in June.