The first OTA of the 2012 offseason is underway today for the Steelers. Their mini camp previously was only for rookies and those not on an NFL roster last season. Coach Mike Tomlin talked to the media today about getting things started and beginning to build the foundation of what the 2012 team will shape into in the coming months. Players such as Larry Foote, Willie Colon, Emmanuel Sanders, Troy Polamalu, and more also talked briefly to the media.
Twitter updates came out late this morning and this afternoon on various players and team news. The following are tweets from WDVE’s Mike Prisuta, Tribune Review’s Mark Kaboly, CBS Sportsline’s Chuck Finder, Post Gazette insider Ed Bouchette, and Steelers.com all give us some insight on how camp is going so far. We’ve capsulated them for easy reference.
Larry Foote on the subject of taking on leadership responsibilities this season: @steelers: Larry Foote: “I think i’ve always been a leader on this team, one of the leaders, we’ve got a whole bunch on this team”. Everybody has just got to step up. Bottom line, in this league, you’ve got to do your job, period. I don’t care who you are”
@DVEMike: Foote on replacing Farrior’s leadership: “I have the respect around here. I’ve been here 10 years. That demands respect. They’ll listen.”
Emmanuel Sanders officially returning punts: @MarkKaboly_Trib: Emmanuel Sanders is your new punt returner … or at least that is what he said happened Day 1 of OTAs
Casey Hampton & Rashard Mendenhall not participating in OTA’s but are working out: @MarkKaboly_Trib: Mendenhall and Hampton working out feverishly on their own. Mendenhall looked good
Polamalu will attend all OTA’s: @MarkKaboly_Trib: Troy Polamalu will attend all 10 OTAs and minicamp. Never done that before.
@CBSSportsNFLPit: S Troy Polamalu made a rare springtime appearance — he’s normally at home in California working out. “It’s nice for everybody new to see a familiar face,” Polamalu said. “And, hopefully, to get myself better.”
Sanders says Wallace deal will get done; Tomlin also agrees: WR Emmanuel Sanders was among the teammates who communicated with WR Mike Wallace about a potential long-term deal. “He is a guy who wants to be here,” Sanders said. “It’s the business side. It’s definitely not because the Steelers don’t want Mike here.”
On the topic of Wallace not being at OTA’s and is he (Tomlin) disappointed in that situation: “Not at all, this is a business, it’s an element of the business. Mike came in, we visited last week, we had good communication. This process is going to run it’s course. We know what type of young man he is, he’s a hard worker, a diligent young man. It will be over soon, there will be some short term misery but it won’t be significant in the big scheme of things hopefully.” – note, key word here is “hopefully” but many expect Wallace to sign his 1 yr. tender and join the team by the time the mandatory camps start in June.
Ike Taylor will be at OTA’s this week, missed today due to flight not getting into until this afternoon: @TribLive_Radio: Ike Taylor will be at the OTA’s tomorrow.
Colon and his new position at Guard: @MarkKaboly_Trib: Colon about guard being more suited to his mauling-style play “I’m going to kick (butt) regardless, it doesn’t matter what position I am in”. @DVEMike: Pouncey on Colon at LG: “He’s going to be a monster.” Pouncey on Gilbert staying at RT: “I don’t think he cares. He just wants to play.”
Colon also on the atmosphere at camp without guys like Hines Ward, James Farrior, and Aaron Smith: The atmosphere at OTAs is undeniably different without a handful of decade-long leaders.”Not having Aaron [Smith], James [Farrior], Hines [Ward] — with him smiling like always –that’s definitely a different feel,” said LG Willie Colon. “It definitely helped using championships. All you can do is remember the legacy.”
More players like the new playbook: @DVEMike Pouncey big fan of new playbook. “I like it a lot. Hopefully everyone else does. It’s exciting, man.”” — So, ado = nothing.
Steelers upcoming mini camp schedules:
- OTAs: May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-7 (voluntary)
- Minicamps: June 12-14 (full team mandatory)