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Thread: Phase One of the Offseason Program has begun (Strength, Conditioning, Physical Rehab)

  1. #21
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    Fittipaldo Offers Some First Impressions Of Rookie Draft Picks

    By Matthew Marczi 

    Posted on May 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    We haven’t gotten many opportunities just get to get much first-hand knowledge of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp that was held over the weekend. Frankly, a lot of that probably has to do with the fact that most reporters aren’t going to be particularly interested in how anybody outside of a high first-round pick is going to look like under those circumstances.

    The closest thing I’ve come in getting some takeaways from the weekend came in Ray Fittipaldo’s recent chat session, in which he offered some first impressions about a number of the Steelers’ draft picks from April’s big event.

    Of Sutton Smith, the Steelers’ first of three sixth-round picks and the only outside linebacker taken, he said that the Northern Illinois product “was impressive rushing the passer”, calling him quick, and a player he’ll want to watch closely in training camp to see how his size translates to padded practices.

    He also noted that Akron inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III, another sixth-round draft pick, was fast as well, in addition to first-round pick Devin Bush, of course. The only thing that he had to say about fifth-round tight end Zach Gentry is that he is tall and he looked okay running routes, but he was more concerned about getting a look at his blocking in training camp.

    I’m a bit surprised that he didn’t offer any observations on fourth-round running back Benny Snell, who seems to have the most outgoing personality within the rookie class. Running back is also one of the easiest positions to have an opinion on in shorts. He didn’t comment on Diontae Johnson, either, but the third-round pick spent rookie minicamp only running individual drills. Justin Layne and the rest not mentioned also went without comment.

    The next opportunity for these players, and the rest who participated over the weekend and remained on the roster, will be a week from today when the Steelers get their first of 10 OTA sessions underway. They will join the veterans of the roster at that time and will see the level of competition—not to mention the pace—pick up dramatically.

    The Steelers have had some success in recent years in getting their rookies on the field, but outside of Bush, there are no clear probable paths for any of the other draft picks to see much playing time in 2019. Johnson may have the best shot, but they are six-deep at least at wide receiver, so he will have to stick out.

    Hopefully the beat writers will have something more substantial to say during OTAs as far as early evaluations of the young players go. Not just the rookies, but perhaps even more importantly the second-year players such as Terrell Edmunds and James Washington, who could, or should, play huge roles in 2019.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/fittipaldo-offers-some-first-impressions-of-rookie-draft-picks/
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  2. #22
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    Matthew Marczi has to be one of the worst writers over at Steelers Depot...

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Matthew Marczi has to be one of the worst writers over at Steelers Depot...
    You may be right about that...

    I didn't take issue with much of what he had to say in the article that Ruth posted, though.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Matthew Marczi has to be one of the worst writers over at Steelers Depot...
    That's not even writing. It's just re-casting what an actual reporter said. I respect the work that Alex Kozora does - for better or worse, he offers his own analysis and insight. The rest of the site, for the most part, just repackages the work of others.

  5. #25
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    Steelers set to enter phase three of offseason program when training resumes on Tuesday, May 21

    When the Steelers resume practice on Tuesday, they will enter the final phase their offseason training program ahead of training camp in July

    By Simon Chester
    May 18, 2019, 7:16am EDT

    With the conclusion of their rookie minicamp last weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers have now completed phase two of their offseason training program. Starting on Tuesday, they will move onto the final stage of their preparations ahead of training camp with 10 days of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and then finishing with a mandatory minicamp. A period that will also be the rookies first chance to meet with many of their new veteran teammates.

    Phase three will run from May 21 until June 6, with Pittsburgh set to hold 10 voluntary training sessions that can include team offense versus team defense activities as part of 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills. Live contract is still not permitted during this stage and each day can last no more than six hours. Phase three OTA rules as per the NFLPA:

    4 weeks total

    3 weeks for 10 total OTA’s

    A maximum of 3 OTA’s each week for the first 2 weeks

    During Weeks 1 & 2 a 4th non OTA workout is allowed but phase two rules apply

    A maximum of 4 OTA’s for the 3rd or 4th week

    One week for mini camp

    No pads except protective knee and elbow pads, helmets are permitted

    No live contact

    7 on 7, 9 on 7 and 11 on 11 drills will be permitted provided no live contact takes place
    Dates of Steelers OTAs in 2019
    •OTA #1 - Tuesday, May 21
    •OTA #2 - Wednesday, May 22
    •OTA #3 - Thursday, May 23
    •OTA #4 - Tuesday, May 28
    •OTA #5 - Wednesday, May 29
    •OTA #6 - Thursday, May 30
    •OTA #7 - Monday, June 3
    •OTA #8 - Tuesday, June 4
    •OTA #9 - Wednesday, June 5
    •OTA #10 - Thursday, June 6

    Phase three will then conclude with a mandatory three day minicamp running from June 11 until June 13 that can last upto 10 hours a day. Phase three minicamp rules as per the NFLPA:

    Physicals on Monday but no practice

    Practices Tuesday - Thursday, with a day off on Friday

    Allowed two practices totaling 3 Hours on the field per day

    Second practice limited to walk through activities only
    While OTAs are voluntary, it should still be expected that all players will attend and there have been no reported absences from either phase of the offseason training program so far this year.

    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2019/5/18/18629602/steelers-set-to-enter-phase-three-of-offseason-program-when-training-resumes-on-tuesday-may-21-news
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  6. #26
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    Friday, May 24, 2019 06:45 AM

    Labriola on what OTAs are, and aren't


    Bob Labriola

    Steelers.com


    Ready or not, here it comes:


    • Three down. Seven to go.


    • It’s that time of the NFL year again. OTAs for the Steelers began on Tuesday, and by the time you read this, the team will have had three of the allowable 10 on-field sessions under its belt, with the “highlight” of the first day being that Ben Roethlisberger talked publicly for the first time since the end of the 2018 regular season, also for the first time since a bunch of empty barrels made a whole lot of offseason noise leveling criticism at him that was either unfair, untrue, or both.


    • Of course, the media session with Roethlisberger was a sideshow to the actual purpose of having 90 players and the complete coaching staff on the grass field at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex, but guaranteed it will turn out to be the most well-attended day of what’s left of the offseason program, because as much and as often as the media decries “drama,” it never will miss an opportunity to make it the day’s big story.


    • In the business, such a story is referred to as “a layup.”


    • But with Roethlisberger having talked and that whole affair looking as though it has been wrung of its last irrelevant syllable, what’s left to “cover” is the football. And the truth of the matter is that when it comes to OTAs, what’s happening with the football aspect of the exercise just isn’t all that significant.


    • Maybe the NFL hype machine would like to convince you that it is, and maybe some fans have been sufficiently brainwashed to believe it is, but it’s really not. It’s a part of the process, yes, a building block for what’s to come once training camps open, but there is only one kind of thing that can happen during OTAs that would have an actual tangible impact on a team’s ability to contend for a championship.


    • And that would be something like what happened to Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster.


    • With the exception of a season-ending injury to a significant player, what could happen during OTAs that would be of significance to a team’s fortunes during the upcoming regular season? Let’s take some issues relating to this Steelers team and use them as examples.


    • Who will emerge as the starting wide receiver opposite JuJu Smith Schuster now that Antonio Brown plays for the Oakland Raiders?


    During free agency, the Steelers signed veteran Donte Moncrief, who has some size, speed, and a decent resume during his previous NFL seasons when he was fortunate enough to be playing with a competent and healthy quarterback. Also, much is expected from James Washington, a second-year player who entered the NFL as the Steelers’ No. 2 pick in 2018. And then there’s rookie Diontae Johnson, who is interesting primarily because he was the Steelers’ first pick of the third round in this most recent draft.


    • But does any reasonable person believe this job is going to be won, or lost, by what happens during OTAs? Sure, there very likely will be some worthwhile getting-to-know-you going on between the start of OTAs and the end of the offseason program in mid-June, but football in shorts played when receivers know there is no chance they’re going to be hit or otherwise physically impeded by defensive backs and/or linebackers cannot provide coaches with the pertinent information they’re going to need to make an informed judgment.


    • In this specific example, what OTAs can provide is that getting-to-know-you between the entire corps of receivers and the quarterbacks, plus provide to the candidates the basic understanding of the offense that will be the foundation, again, for what happens once the team reconvenes at Saint Vincent College in late July.


    • Will Devin Bush be a starter when the season opens on Sept. 8 in New England, or at least a significant component of the sub-package defenses?


    The Steelers made a dramatic move on the first day of the draft to get themselves into a spot where they were able to draft the player they believed was the top inside linebacker available in this class. Bush checked all of the boxes for the Steelers in their evaluation of him, from his physical skill-set, to his football IQ, to his accelerated understanding of the ways of professional football that came from being the son of a former NFL player, to the way he has been able to emerge as an on-field leader at every level.


    • People were on high alert the first time the Steelers had an 11-man defense on the field during these OTAs to see whether Bush would be among the “starters,” but whether he was or wasn’t in no way reflected a current evaluation of him, nor will it have any impact on his eventual status for the Steelers opening defensive series inside Gillette Stadium.


    • In no particular order, some of the other oft-mentioned issues for this Steelers team have to do with whether the defense will find a way to improve on its total of eight interceptions and 15 total takeaways from 2018, and to what degree will unrestricted free agent signee Steven Nelson – expected to start at cornerback opposite Joe Haden – positively impact those totals; whether Chris Boswell will revert to his 2017 form; who will be the starting right tackle; and how the workload will be divided among the running backs.


    • None of that is going to be determined during OTAs, because as Coach Mike Tomlin reminds the players on a regular basis, football is a game played in pads, and until hitting is introduced to the proceedings, there’s no way of really determining whether what you’re seeing is real or just a mirage.


    • The most important factor for a team during OTAs is health, and that goes beyond incidents like the Reuben Foster torn ACL. For new players and for young players, the most important thing is to be able to stay healthy enough to remain on the field to participate in as many of the 10 OTAs and three days of minicamp as the body will permit, because standing on the sideline and taking “mental reps” is simply not a substitute for creating the muscle memory that only happens by actual physical repetition.


    • OTAs are a part of the process, and the actual value of what’s happening during this portion of the NFL calendar cannot be discerned by the naked eye. This is a learning experience, and the learning taking place is different depending upon the individual player and his level of experience with the Steelers and with the NFL.


    • So, my advice is to sit back and enjoy the return of football, even if this version is but a facsimile of the one that eventually will crown a champion on the first Sunday of February 2020. Just understand what it is. And what it’s not.


    https://www.steelers.com/news/labriola-on-what-otas-are-and-aren-t
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq View Post
    That's not even writing. It's just re-casting what an actual reporter said. I respect the work that Alex Kozora does - for better or worse, he offers his own analysis and insight. The rest of the site, for the most part, just repackages the work of others.
    You guys are the first I've heard of really taking Steelers Depot to task. I'm going to give them the analytic eye a little closer to see as well.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

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