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Jun 13

Thoughts From Steelers’ Mini-Camp Day Two

Mike TomlinThe Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their second of their three-day mini-camp today on the South Side facility. Ben Roethlisberger did not participate in drills but did throw a few passes. Rookie Markus Wheaton was again absent as he is finishing classes at Oregon State. As you know, I don’t do a whole lot of ‘Steelers’ News’ as I’m much more into analysis and opinion, but these are my thoughts from the second day of mini-camp…

  • The experiment of moving Stevenson Sylvester from inside backer to outside apparently continues. “Sly” doesn’t really know why the switch  is happening, but most of us are aware that linebackers’ coach Keith Butler has said the fourth-year backer is down to his last chance with the team. I find the move a bit surprising considering the lack of depth at both inside and outside backer. However, Butler, Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau and Head Coach Mike Tomlin must feel he has a better chance of seeing the field from that spot. Sly has been a good special teamer but has not lived up to the expectations that he could be a backer of the future.
  • Several outlets reported that Mike Adams was present for mini-camp today but was not allowed to speak wiht the press. Adams of course is recovering from a stabbing suffered on the South Side when three men tried to steal his truck. My assumption is that the team and Adams’ lawyers don’t want him saying anything for a myriad of reasons. In time, I’m sure we’ll get Adams’ side fo the story.
  • Just where William Gay line up when he is on the field remains a bit of a question. Common sense is that he would be the nickel with Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen on outside but the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Mark Kaboly reports that Gay continues to be used on the outside and Allen is then brought inside. It actually makes some sense when you think about it considering Allen’s success on slot receivers and tight ends in the past two years. When of Gay’s strengths that I feel was not utilized enough during his last season in Pittsburgh was blitzing. It would be good to see him coming off the edge more in 2013.
  • Coach LeBeau said he believes the work both in OTAs and the current mini-camp has been excellent. The defense isn’t ready to start the season just yet but he likes the direction. LeBeau said of rookie Jarvis Jones that he has a great work ethic and is showing really great instincts. Said that Jones expects nothing and wants to work for everything. LeBeau also made the obvious comment of the day when he said the team has to get more turnovers and help the offense with shorter fields.
  • “Sheriff” Tomlin was matter of fact as he typically is while sporting his mirrored sunglasses… He spoke very highly of Bruce Gradkowski as he did yesterday. He mentioned that Gradkowski ‘wears his heart on his sleeve’ and plays with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm.
  • Troy Polamalu was asked about Ryan Clark and as expected spoke very highly of him. When asked whether he and Clark were actually interchangeable he said “yes, absolutely.”

The Steelers will wrap up the three-day mini-camp tomorrow with what amounts to a walk-thru. Should there be anything Earth-shattering, I’ll comment on it, but I don’t expect much. The good news so far through mini-camp is no significant injuries which is always a good thing especially for the Steelers.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.

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