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Steelers Move on without Stephon Tuitt on Defensive Line

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Steelers Defensive Line

PITTSBURGH — Eighty-nine Pittsburgh Steelers player took the field on Tuesday, representing the entire roster for the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp.

While the team has certainly carried less than a full complement of players at other times in the past — they had 88 at one point last week — it can’t help but feel that one player is missing from the festivities at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt announced his retirement let week, and while he was not at any of the team’s six voluntary OTA sessions over the last two weeks, his absence seemed final with the entire rest of the team at the mandatory camp.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the media for the first time since Tuitt’s retirement, but largely chose to echo the statement released publicly last week by the team.

“We’re supportive of Tuitt and his decision,” Tomlin said. “It’s been a pleasure to work with him and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

The Steelers did not replace Tuitt on the roster, literally as they still have a vacant spot, but spiritually, as well. Backups Chris Wormley and Montravius Adams and youngsters Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal are in a four-way competition to grab up the role that was Tuitt’s in the past. But all of those players were on the roster a week ago, when Tuitt was as well.

That’s not to take away from the Steelers’ depth at the position, a group that Tomlin seemed to show genuine enthusiasm for.

“I’m excited about the guys that we have here to work with,” he said. “Our energies and all our attention is focused on the guys that are available to us. We can waste a lot of time talking about who doesn’t play for us.”

Unless the Steelers go out and make an addition to the roster, it will be up to that group to finally replace Tuitt on the field when it counts.

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