Right after Friday’s run test, Mike Tomlin talked heart-to-heart to Ben Roethlisberger.
As the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers headed for the showers, the star quarterback stayed behind so he could meet with his coach.
Later, Tomlin didn’t say what the two talked about during an on-field conversation that lasted over five minutes. But it’s hard to imagine that the civil sexual assault lawsuit filed two weeks ago against Roethlisberger wasn’t discussed.
But despite the seriousness of the situation, neither Tomlin nor any of the Steelers believe Roethlisberger will be affected by the allegations put against him by a woman from Nevada.
“I have no question about Ben’s mindset, or anybody else’s mindset for that matter,” Tomlin said. “That civil case is just that … it’s civil. We’ll assume he’s going to handle that business in his personal life, and we’re going to proceed professionally. We’re just going to focus on football.”
As he’s done in the past several years, Roethlisberger reported to training camp at St. Vincent College without meeting with the media.
But many of his teammates were eager to talk about Roethlisberger’s dilemma, and none believe it will affect Roethlisberger’s _ or the team’s_ performance during their three-week stay at St. Vincent College.
“No, we don’t see it as a distraction,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “This is our safe haven. When we step on this field, it’s about football. Off the field, everybody has problems and things going on outside of football. But when we step on that field, it’s our safe haven to get away from everything “I know Ben. He’s looking forward to coming out here and competing.”
HAMPTON PASSES RUN TEST
Shortly after the 4 p.m. reporting deadline, the Steelers took part in their annual running/conditioning test.
The test consisted of players running eight 100-yard sprints, jogging back 50 yards and then walking the last 50 yards.
Some players were excused, mostly for minor health reasons.
Tomlin refused to allow the media to speak to any players after the run test, however.
“I was very pleased with the run test. Everybody was above the line,” he said.
Tomlin even stressed that burly nose tackle Casey Hampton, who couldn’t finish the run test last year, did fine this year.
“I was curious (to see Hampton run),” Tomlin said. “You’re always curious about the big men, and Casey’s probably the biggest of the big men. But he did a nice job, as did a lot of the other guys.”