The Pittsburgh Steelers went through their final OTA (No. 14) this morning and head coach Mike Tomlin touched base on a number of subjects afterwards.
*Tomlin refused to acknowledge the quarterback “pecking order” he said he would establish during OTA’s. He stopped short of calling Byron Leftwich “the number one guy” going into training camp but he did say what we all saw in OTA’s was reflective of where the team’s mindset was.
In other words: Leftwich is the starter, dixon is the back up, batch in the emergency guy until ben comes back.
*On the amount of reps for Roethlisberger, Tomlin said camp can still be uselful for Roethlisberger and he will still get work at camp even though he’ll miss four weeks to start the year.
*Tomlin said the team continues to want to get Dennis Dixon lots of reps. He suggested that those reps would come at the expense of batch more so than leftwich or ben.
*Tomlin acknowledged he was still concerned about Troy Polamalu. However, he said he was no more concerend than Aaron Smith or Charlie Batch who are also coming off of injuries.
The big step for Polamalu will be in training camp as he doesn’t know how his knee will react once hitting starts.
*2010 1st round pick Maurkice Pouncey has seen extensive time at center and right guard over the 3 or 4 practices.
Tomlin suggests that Pouncey has a good shot to start at right guard and made it sound like that starting at center would be more of long shot. The Steelers appear committed to Justin Hartwig who is entering the first year of a new four year deal he signed last summer.
An interesting side note, Tomlin insists that Pouncey has a higher “football maturity level” to start a career than Lawrence Timmons or Rashard Mendenhal in recent years. Neither Timmons nor Mendenhall made much of an impact in their rookie season. Mendenhall missed most of the season due to a fractured shoulder.
A hot topic continues to be Ben Roethlisberger. Tomlin says there has been no contact from the league with him about anything he has to do with ben before camp to help minimize his suspension.
Tomlin says he still hasn’t seen (and isnt looking for) any personality change in Ben.
Tomlin said there are no new known injuries of note that were absorbed during camp.
Tomlin said attendence was good throught the sessions (keep in mind though James Harrison has been absent for a while). He did not participate in practices for the past two weeks.