Steeler Nation, the Steelers have now ended their three day mandatory mini-camp and are now off till the start of training camp July 25th .
Here are some news & notes on the Steelers 2014 mini-camp…
<>The Steelers seem committed to making the No-Huddle offense a big part of their 2014 offense as coaches used a big part of mini-camp laying the foundation and getting new players up to speed with it. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley spoke about it…
Todd Haley:“We’ve been working hard at it,that’s going to be part of what we do. We don’t want to just give it lip service. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into it and we’ll continue that in minicamp. You can kind of see the guys getting comfortable and making progress. [Ben Roethlisberger’s] comfort level with them is coming along.”
<>The Steelers are also working on expanding their No-Huddle package Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke on the subject…
Ben Roethlisberger: “We’ll have some different personnel groups in the no-huddle, in years past it’s been kind of one, maybe two, personnel groups. And now we can kind of do some different things. We can start a series with certain personnel and keep that (group) on the field and go no-huddle,we can try and dictate what defense comes on the field for us (at the start of a series) so that way we can try to get in the best play possible.”
<>Safetys Troy Polamalu and Mike Mitchell got their first chance to play together during mini camp and both players are optimistic that they will have little problem building a chemistry on the football field.
<>The number two receiver spot seems to be Markus Wheaton’s to lose. Wheaton received most of the reps with the first team offense during the spring.
<> Linebacker Sean Spence made it through all the off-season practice sessions and mini camp and seems to be on his way to making a full recovery. Next test training camp.
<> Defensive assistant Joey Porter has had a positive impact on many of the Steelers young defensive players and was a very active part of many of the defensive drills.
<> Offensive coordinator Todd Haley called this the deepest receiver group he’s had.
<> The Steelers signed all nine of their 2014 draft picks
<> First-round pick Ryan Shazier looks as good as advertised and made several big plays during mini camp.
<> Defensive line coach John Mitchell said he will not rush rookie Defensive end Stephon Tuitt into the line up.
<> Rookie Dri Archer took meetings with both the wide receivers and the running backs. Archer looked very fast even against NFL caliber talent and reports on him have been very positive.
<> New wide receiver Lance Moore has been a positive influence on the young wide receivers and has already found some chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger . Reports say he had a good mini camp and OTA Sessions .
<> Running backs coach James Saxon talked about Le’Veon Bell and offseason free agent addition LeGarrette Blount
James Saxon: “He (Le’Veon Bell) is very smart. He is a very talented football player. I think his upside is very, very high.”
“I think it’s going to be fun to watch. I think those two guys(Le’Veon Bell & LeGarrette Blount) work well together. They are going to compete and challenge each other to be very, very good football players for the Steelers.”
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak talked about the competition on the offensive line…
Mike Munchak: “I think the best thing an offensive coach can have is competition and I think we have that. We have Kelvin Beachum working at left tackle and Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert. I think you got some guys that can really do some good things and again I’m asking them to do different things than they’ve done in the past. They’ve had three line coaches in three years so everything is not going to change overnight in what we want to do. I’m kind of watching to see what they’re good at, trying to hopefully improve their game as we go forward.
“I think it’s creating good competition. They’re going to be battled tested and ready to go. Mike has been playing both sides. He’s been the one pushing on both sides. Guy Whimper has been obviously the fourth guy. We’ve got four veteran tackles. We’re going to have some good football players and some tough decisions.”