Connect with us


Steelers OTA Takeaways: Attendance Not an Issue; QB, OL Updates



Pittsburgh Steelers QB OTAs Trubisky Rudolph Pickett

PITTSBURGH — Almost the full Pittsburgh Steelers 90-man roster was present for the team’s first OTA session at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Tuesday, and while it is still “football in shorts,” to quote head coach Mike Tomlin, there was still plenty to take away from the team getting together on the practice field for the first time in the 2022 season.


The Steelers very notably were without defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who has yet to participate in a team activity since suffering a knee injury during training camp last summer.

Team captain and Tuitt’s neighbor on the defensive line Cam Heyward said that he expects Tuitt to get back into the fold “sooner or later” as the spring progresses, and says he’s confident that he will return to the form that made him a key cog on the Steelers’ front.

But on the whole, the optional practice was attended by the vast majority of the team, even the veteran players. Newcomers like James Daniels, Myles Jack and Levi Wallace were joined by stalwarts like Tyson Alualu, Terrell Edmunds, Heyward and T.J. Watt

“They know the power their presence it’s not necessarily about their get better,” Tomlin said. “It’s young guys getting an opportunity to see them and learn from them. It’s less about what we say in this business and more about what it is that we do, and so when you got enough of those examples of guys that understand how we go about our business and are good professionals and can provide some examples for guys, that’s what’s exciting about it.”


The interior of the Steelers’ offensive line is one of the big question marks of the offseason and it’s as much about where guys will play as it is who. Five of the Steelers’ six interior offensive line options are versatile enough to play at any of the three spots, giving new coach Pat Meyer and the Pittsburgh offensive staff an enormous number of permutations to try.

While it’s day one of football in shorts, the Steelers seemed to start things out with free agent addition Mason Cole working at center, and Kevin Dotson, James Daniels and Kendrick Green all working at guard. That could certainly change and as quickly as Wednesday’s second practice, but it’s a sign of where the coaching staff sees things ahead of on-field work.


Free agent addition Mitch Trubisky took the first reps of the battle to replace Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers’ quarterbacks, with Mason Rudolph, first rounder Kenny Pickett and seventh-round pick Chris Oladokun following in that order.

Rudolph didn’t seemed to be bothered by being second on the pecking order and said he expects it to change over time as the team navigates its way through the offseason. That may be true, but it’s probably a bad sign for Rudolph that the lone incumbent in the room didn’t the first shot at leading.

Both Rudolph and Trubisky said they weren’t really surprised by the team drafting Pickett in the first round and seemed to embrace the competition going forward.


Running back Najee Harris has a unique combination of speed, and agility and one of then places he shows that off on the practice field is the unique drills run by running backs coach Eddie Faulkner.

Harris shot through a drill on Tuesday that saw him bounce off a giant ball, hurdle several obstacles, cut around Faulker and hold onto the ball while taking a blow from an intern wielding a giant padded bag.

Harris not only did the drill perfectly, he went back and asked the helper to hit him harder next time and showed him exactly what he wanted, grabbing the bag himself to try to up the difficulty level for his teammates.

Harris is still a second-year player, but he already seems to be rounding into form as one of the leaders of an offense that lost its biggest one in Roethlisberger this offseason.

“Najee acts like he has the answers to the test, but he did last year also,” Tomlin said. “Love Naj.”

Steelers Now in your Inbox

Sign up and get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox!

Thank you!