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Steelers mini camp updates – June 12th: All hands on deck as DeCastro, Adams, & Ta’amu report

The final workouts before training camp started on Tuesday. This one is mandatory for all players, so unless you’re injured, this is the time when you better be out there putting forth a good effort to finish out strong before the break until Latrobe. In case you were curious, OTA’s are referred to as the voluntary workouts while mini camps are mandatory. Anyways, the coaches want to see how you’ve progressed over the last month and also gather more information about who’s showing the ability to pick up the scheme’s quickly. If you don’t do your homework, it will show.

2012 rookies David DeCastro, Mike Adams, and Alameda Ta’amu all were in attendance in working out now that their schooling is over. DeCastro and Adams received daily tests from offensive line coach Sean Kugler to make sure they stayed on track over the last month while they finished out class. That time is over now though and it’s all hands on deck as the team looks to put the finishing touches on their organized team activities and set themselves up for what will be a very important training camp this summer.

Like we usually do here on SA, below is a summary of the updates coming out of practice today from the local Steelers media via twitter.  The NFL prohibits them from divulging any significant information that goes on during the practices so most of the updates are general observations and quotes from the players after the workouts.

@MarkKaboly_Trib: 7th rounder Kelvin Beachum moved to guard.
@MarkKaboly_Trib: No James Harrison and Curtis Brown practicing during AM session of minicamp
@MarkKaboly_Trib: Trai Essex (from his mouth) that he started with first team OL at RT with Foster at RG. We know Pouncey, Colon and Gilbert on left side
@MarkKaboly_Trib: Baron Batch’s blue don’t-touch-me No. 20 jersey has been removed from action.
@MarkKaboly_Trib: Essex on Adams after Kugler got on him for quitting on a play: “A little thing like effort doesn’t take a lot of talent to fix.”
@MarkKaboly_Trib: Essex: “Mike Adams learned that’s not how we do things here.”

@DVEMike: Trai Essex on Oline: “I started at RT, Ramon (Foster) started at RG, ‘Pounce’ (Maurkice Pouncey), Willie (Colon) and Marcus (Gilbert) …
@DVEMike: ” … And then halfway through they put in (David) DeCastro and (Mike) Adams to get some work with the 1s,” Essex continued.
@DVEMike: Quote of the day uttered by Adams on what he did during OTAs: “I’d be in class watching film. I kinda checked out of school a while ago.”
@steelers: “It’s feeling pretty good. Of course, I’ll take these next 5 or 6 weeks that we have off,do another strength program for knee” @baron_batch
@ScottBrown_Trib: Reporter, not a beat one, to E. Sanders: “Are you a litterbug?” Sanders: “No, not at all.” Not making this up up. Happened after practice.
@MarkKaboly_Trib: Brett Keisel on Ben: “I am very impressed on how Ben has grasp this offense … we are only going to go as far as he can take us.”
@ScottBrown_Trib: 2011 Steelers MVP Antonio Brown has Hines Ward’s old locker, and he is well aware of the significance of it.
@ScottBrown_Trib: Brown “It’s something special. I feel like there’s no other place I want to be but right there.”
@ScottBrown_Trib: E. Sanders said he feels he is 100 percent after having surgery on both feet last offseason.
@ScottBrown_Trib: Sanders: “I definitely feel like I have something to prove. I haven’t finished an entire seasons yet…
@ScottBrown_Trib: …I want to go for a thousand yards, everything that big-time receivers do I want to do that.”

A couple things that caught my eye today:

Adams learning real quick that you better not quit on plays. That’s a huge no-no for any Steeler and really for any NFL player. It’s also something that has gotten the better of more than a few NFL players in the past. It’s good that he’s learning right off the bat to finish every play. If you remember last year, then rookie Marcus Gilbert was scolded for not paying attention in the film room and his focus in practice. He definitely learned his lesson if last season was any example.

Also on Adams, something that is a bit concerning depending on how much you read into it. – “Adams on what he did during OTAs: “I’d be in class watching film. I kinda checked out of school a while ago.”

I can understand him wanting to be with the team, I’d want to be as well. You could look at it one way and say that it’s great that he’s taking his new career seriously by wanting to get in all the film work he can. On the other hand, you might have liked to see him stay focused on finishing out strong and not “checking out” before it’s time. Maybe that easy for me to say on the outside looking in but we’ll see how things go for him the rest of the offseason.

Ben picking up the offense nicely, and as Diesel said they will go as far as he can take them.  That is and always will be the case with the Steelers. The defense will need to be great, like always, but ultimately Ben’s ability to pick this team up and carry it will go a long way towards the success they are looking to achieve.

This is a big year for Emmanuel Sanders. As he mentioned, he’s not been able to play a full season since joining the NFL 2 years ago. He’ll be getting extra reps with Mike Wallace still holding out which will be very beneficial. How his feet hold up this year will be key to his hopes of a long term once his contract is up (both he and Antonio Brown will be RFA’s after the 2012 season is over).

Finally, like we’ve been saying all along, the offensive is a work in progress. You won’t know who’s going to start where until training camp. Don’t read into who’s playing where this week because it will change each day and then change again once camp starts.

The Post Gazette’s Gerry Dulac has some day 1 thoughts as the final OTA’s get underway:


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