Good Morning Steeler Nation! If that may be too perky for your taste at this hour you might want to take another sip of your coffee. There’s plenty to be excited about as a Steelers fan now that the dust has settled from the draft. There are offseason workouts, minicamp, and training camp just around the corner. Can almost smell that freshly cut grass at Saint Vincent’s huh? This morning the mood is hopeful from the local media outlets regarding the Steelers draft picks and their abilities to contribute in the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, on the South Side, the Steelers have already begun Phase II of the offseason workouts per Teresa Varley of steelers.com. This phase of the workouts includes position meetings between players and coaches for the first time this year. Players will get their first opportunity of the season to get into the playbook along with the coaches in those position meetings. Veteran CB Ike Taylor, who normally works out on his own in Florida, joined the group to encourage the younger players to get in gear for the OTA’s which will begin May21.
“It’s good for them to get a feel for each other on the field, get to know each other and see how they move. You can do that stuff early, do it now. When you get on the field for the OTA’s, coaches will be telling you what to do, but this is a stepping stone. You want to know what to do without the coaches telling you. It shows the coaches you are willing and capable and you are being responsible.”
Ed Bouchette of the PG breaks down the “New Young Money Crew” that were drafted this weekend in Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown in the third and sixth rounds respectively. The drafting of the wide receivers was identical to the 2010 draft in which they picked up Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. Between the group of the new and the old, Ben Roethlisberger might just have some new and dare I say better options on offense this season. This might provide a more productive offense than the “dink and dunk” that Ben lovingly criticized last season but also produced MVP-like numbers for him before his shoulder injury sidelined him.
Alan Robinson of the Trib explains how some of this year’s Steelers draft class could be entering training camp with a chance to start at their respective positions. The number one overall pick Jarvis Jones will most likely enter camp as a “starter in waiting” behind Jason Worilds. Just how well Jones competes in camp and preseason might determine how long he has to wait. The only confidence this coaching staff has exhibited, in my opinion, in Worilds as the heir apparent to James Harrison is the fact that they dug in their heels and refused to give Harrison a chance to come back after initial talks failed and Harrison’s test of the market failed as well. Handing over the linebacker tradition to Worilds by default, if you ask me. Le’Veon Bell also looks to be a draft pick with a better opportunity to start as a rookie than the remaining class, explains Robinson. Because the running back corps is, um, well let’s just say it is what it is, I agree with Robinson on this one. I’d say that any of the RB’s that enter camp have the opportunity to separate themselves from the herd and emerge as the starter, just all about the work they’re going to put into it. Mike Tomlin explained that all players must earn their jobs, but we all know what opportunities lie out there.
“I think it’s a daunting task for rookies to start in any system and play and perform well. But we’re not going to close the door on anyone earning an opportunity.”
What do you think, Steeler Nation? Who out of the draft class do you think can start right away?
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