The Pittsburgh Steelers opened their 47th training camp at St. Vincent’s college in Latrobe to a subdued atmosphere as the franchise attempts to retool, recalibrate, and refocus after a disappointing, inconsistent, injury-plagued 8-8 finish in 2012.
The first day’s agenda consists of little more than players moving and Mike Tomlin’s run test, but there was a little news for Steelers Nation to consume.
Big Ben Sits Out Run Test, Gilbert Carted Off
Ben Roethlisberger had minor knee surgery in early June and while the quarterback reported the he felt fine, Mike Tomlin held him out as a precautionary.
The quarterback spoke about the infamous Roethlisberger-Haley relationship, and admitted to being “frustrated” with Todd Haley’s offense last season, although he confirmed that most frustration lay in new terminology.
While Roethlisberger downplayed the absence of former locker room leaders like Hines Ward and James Farrior, he said he planned to take a larger leadership role this season, and had asked Maurkice Pouncey and Heath Miller to follow suit.
In what might not be so good news, Marcus Gilbert, the Steelers projected starting tackle, passed the Tomlin’s run test but had to be carted off the field after that. Given the utmost important role that the offensive line will play for the Steelers this season, this is not encouraging news.
Miller, Johnson, Spence and Ta’Mau Head Steelers PUP List
The Steelers also began camp with four players on the physically unable to perform list, or PUP list. As expected Heath Miller and Sean Spence headed the list. Reporter Dale Lolley indicated “…[Miller] looks closer to a guy who intends on playing from the get-go than he does somebody who will be out the first six weeks.”
Sean Spence stated that his goal is to make the active roster by mid season.
The other two players starting on the PUP amount to somewhat of a surprise. David Johnson is one, who reportedly is still working his way back to health from the ACL tear he suffered last year in preseason.
The other is Alameda Ta’amu, who reportedly has a hamstring issue. This is very bad news for Ta’amu. The Steelers traded up in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft to get Ta’amu and he has done nothing but disappoint since then.
Adams, Cleared to Play
Steelers Nation did get good news on the injury front. Starting tackle Mike Adams, who was stabbed last month on the South Side continuing what has become the Steelers “June Curse”, has been fully cleared to participate in all activities.