Back to work
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Steelers will get back to work on Tuesday with the start of Organized Team Activities (OTA's). Over the next four weeks the OTA's will give the team, including all of the rookies, a chance to work together and continue to grow as a unit.
"It's about continuing to develop an understanding of our football and we have been using that phrase quite a bit," said Tomlin. "Our football, what is going to be our playing personality? What kind of culture are we trying to create in this building, with this football team? The only way we can do that is to keep coming together and keep working on the details of situational football."
In the past OTA's have had a wide range of focus, not hitting on one particular area in each session. But Tomlin is changing that, giving different sessions themes to help pull things together and cover all the key areas.
"We are going to focus on different elements of football," said Tomlin. "We are going to have two-minute emphasis. We have red zone emphasis and short-yardage days. We will have hurry-up offense. We are going to have no-huddle offense. We will have all of the elements of the game that need to be addressed.
"We respect situational football. We know that the outcomes of games are defined by what happens in critical downs and distances. So, we are going to continue to grow in that way and develop an understanding of what professional football is about in that way. We want to learn how to play the game by the rules, based on the unwritten rules of situations."
The OTA's are not mandatory, but you can expect the majority of the players to be on hand for them.
"It is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged," said Tomlin. "It is about getting better and preparing ourselves, not only for the things that are awaiting us this season, but collectively. Part of that is having the ability to work together; the cohesion that it takes to be successful. Of course, it will be strongly encouraged."
The team will wrap up the OTA's on June 14 and then break until training camp on July 23, so this is a key time for all.
"It is very important to everybody," said Tomlin. "That is what the off-season is about; that is what the organized team activity is about. When you look at it, we are getting to a critical stage of the off-season, as we move forward and move toward training camp. We will continue to install our football and continue to work on our situational football. We have to continue to work the details that are going to allow us to be successful. It is a critical time."