May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley (56) participates in drills during organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Morning Huddle 5/23/13


Today is the last day of this Organized Training Activity.  The Steelers will be back at after the Memorial day Weekend.

The Steelers continue to post interviews from some of the players.  Heath Miller patiently told reporters that he didn’t have any answers for when he would play.  I’m sure he is tired of the questions, but his presence on the field will be missed and we can only hope he comes back at 100%.  Ed Bouchette, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, gives his take on the interview and notes:

The knee is a funny thing, especially when the torque of playing football on it rips apart three different ligaments. It happened to Miller in the next-to-last game of 2012 when the anterior cruciate, medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments tore in his right knee.”

Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review looked at Heath Miller’s status and discussed how the Steelers did not pressure Miller to return by drafting a tight end:

Despite the importance of Miller in the Steelers’ offense — he had a team-high 71 catches and eight touchdowns while making the Pro Bowl last season — their only move to at least temporarily replace him was to re-sign Matt Spaeth. They did not draft a tight end.”

I don’t entirely agree with Robinson’s assessment.  Yes, the Steelers are a loyal team.  The best current example is that they haven’t outright released Sean Spence even though he isn’t ready to come back and start training yet.  However, the Steelers did pad their depth at the tight end position by signing Zack Pianalto and resigning David Johnson.  Heath Miller means a lot to this franchise, but they acknowledge they might need a different player at that position with some added depth if Miller isn’t 100% for the whole season.

LaMarr Woodley also stopped to answer reporters questions.  He answered multiple questions about the “anonymous person” in the locker room and how he felt about the comments.  When asked if he was in good shape this year, he gave a tongue-in-cheek response:

I’ve got to talk to the anonymous person about that. They have all the answers. Whoever the anonymous person was, we have to find him and ask him about that.”

Alan Robinson offers his perspective on Woodley and his approach to this year.  Woodley faces a lot of scrutiny because his productivity is down over the last two years.  Personally, I think the reporters need to let the “anonymous person” go.  They have their soundbites from Woodley.  Let’s let Woodley speak on the field.  Steelers’ fans want to see the familiar Woodley side-kick when he makes a sack a few more times this season.  It is probably too much to hope to see it during every game, but I hope that Woodley’s goal.

Isaac Redman showed up at the OTAs 10 pounds lighter, according to Mark Karboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.  Redman worked out with a speed and agility specialist over the off season.   With the changes in how the teams can work out the players, the players have to take more responsibility for their off-season conditioning and how they show up at the training activities.  I like that Redman gave it so much effort.  I think some players aren’t as motivated or don’t understand that they can’t just show up, walk onto the field and play at a high level.  Redman feels he put in the right effort during the off season and looks to prove it on the field.  That’s what I like to hear!

Mike Florio, of the NBC’s Pro Football Talk, has been heading up the network’s Mount Rushmore nominations.  I hadn’t seen anything about this before until he did an assessment of the nominations from the Steelers.   He noted that the Steelers have a lot of nominations and that it is impossible to narrow the list down to 12 let alone to 4.  I completely agree.  Just from the Steel Curtain era alone, there are tons of great nominations.  If you want to take a look at all the nominations and possibly add some, go here.  The results are going to be announced during one of their shows in June.

That’s it for today.  What do you think Steeler Nation?  What do you think is the most positive aspect from this first OTA?  Sound off!

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Tags: Heath Miller Lamarr Woodley Pittsburgh Steelers

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