When the Steelers announced back on June 8 they would be holding training camp at Heinz Field this year, one thing was immediately on everybody’s mind: How would the playing surface hold up?
Apparently head coach Mike Tomlin shares those sentiments.
Speaking on a conference call with the media Tuesday morning, Tomlin expressed his concern about using Heinz Field for training camp is the wear and tear of the stadium’s Kentucky bluegrass playing surface.
Coach Tomlin said his only concern about using @heinzfield for #SteelersCamp is the wear and tear on the field. He said his intention is to get on buses and go to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex to use those fields from time to time.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) June 23, 2020
Heinz Field has a long history of poor field conditions, and Tomlin’s concerns are not misplaced. Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor called the field “a lawsuit pending” back in 2006.
The decision to move training camp to the Steelers’ game day home came in response to a league-wide protocols for the return of players to team facilities released on June 8.
One of the protocols called for locker rooms to be reconfigured to ensure six-feet of distance, a tall task the team likely would not have been able to accomplish at their Pitt-shared facility on the South Side. The Steelers will have room to spread out at Heinz Field, making use of the stadiums four locker rooms.
Still, Tomlin says the teams intends to bus players back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side to occasionally utilize those fields and preserve the surface at Heinz.
Steelers QB Josh Dobbs Working with NASA for 2nd Straight Year
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs is joining the NASA Kennedy Space Flight Center for the second straight offseason.
The collaboration is a part of the NFLPA’s virtual Externship program, which provides players with professional development experiences to prepare them for their careers after football.
Dobbs is part of an exclusive group of just 52 players participating in the program. His placement with NASA will last through the end of March.
“We believe that this year’s virtual Externship experience will provide our player members with a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge, skillset and network in new, innovative ways that will serve them well during life after football,” NFLPA Player Manager Connor Ford said.
Dobbs’ mental acumen is well-documented, as the quarterback left the University of Tennessee with a degree in aerospace engineering in 2017.
Steelers RB Trey Edmunds Shares Love of Reading with Local Students
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Trey Edmunds has been a lifelong lover of reading, a passion he shared with local students on Tuesday’s celebration of Read Across America Day.
Edmunds joined students at Pittsburgh Faison for a virtual assembly and read New York Times best seller, What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada.
“I am blessed and humbled to be amongst you guys today and to represent another part of the community and be able to read to you,” Edmunds told Steelers.com. “I am so happy to be here today. What I do want to say is I was in some of the same positions as you guys. I grew up listening to people come back and read to me. Some of those same people I have been in contact with many years later. Some of those same things they have read to me, I have had the privilege of reading to some of the people I mentor, some of the young people in my life, whether it’s cousins, nephews. I am extremely happy today.”
Edmunds also surprised the student with a copy of his own book My Brother’s Keeper – What This Means to Me…, written alongside with his brothers Terrell and Tremaine. Terrell is a safety for Pittsburgh, while Tremaine is a standout linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.
Edmunds’ love of reading came from his mother Felicia, who as an educator, always championed the important of the skill.
“My mother is an elementary school teacher, so she had me doing all of that stuff when I was in high school, college, as a matter of fact I have to go to her school to read for the month of March,” he told Steelers.com. “It keeps me on my toes, attentive. I am a big reader myself, so when I get the opportunity to read to kids, I like that type of interaction.”
Should Steelers Sign Zach Banner to be Starter in 2021?
Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault.
He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.
Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.
Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. With Banner expected to be ready for a return next season, should the Steelers sign the 27-year-old with the anticipation that he could be a key piece to bolster the offensive line that was missing during the 2020 season?
Best exit interview ever… Back to work…
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) January 14, 2021
Do you believe in Zach Banner? Comment below with why or why not.