Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 5/22/12

The Steelers opened up their first round of OTAs today.  As expected Mike Wallace was not in attendance.  Wallace was in town to meet with Mike Tomlin last week though and he got his playbook.  Wallace will wait as long as he can to sign his tender.  He can not wait that long though.  With a new offense he will have to get in tune with Roethlsiberger and the other wide receivers.

The practice went off with no one getting injured that we know of.  Though there were a few guys absent.  Brett Keisel was not at practice.  Neither was Ike Taylor but he will be on the field tomorrow.  He just arrived late to the facility and missed today.  The only other players missing were the rookies who were not allowed to attend.  That would be Mike Adams, David DeCastro and Alameda Ta’amu.  The Steelers did have a few players sit out with prior injuries.  Ramon Foster had a hamstring.  Casey Hampton and Rashard Mendenhall were on site but neither is able to practice.

Here are some other notes from practice today:

  1. Starting Offensive line consisted of Trai Essex, Willie Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Doug Legursky and Marcus Gilbert.  Gilbert was lined up on the right side.  That looks like it is where he will play.  That means when Adams and DeCastro return they will likely move into the open positions of Right Guard and Left Tackle.
  2. Ben Roethlisberger seems extremely frustrated.  He is not picking up the offense as quickly as he would like.  He likened things to his rookie year when he knew one read and then ran for his life.  He is joking about it but you can see the frustration on his face when he talks.
  3. Everyone else seems really happy.  Emmanuel Sanders came out of practice ready to go and excited about his role.  The offensive line seemed happy to especially Center Maurkice Pouncey.  Everyone seems to be moving a long and happy with what is going on except Roethlisberger.  He will get it with time.  As happy as everyone else is with what is going on though he may feel more pressure because he is the one not getting it.
  4. The offense seems to be Play Action oriented which means the Steelers will be running the ball.  It may not be heavily but it will be more often.  This passing game is made off of quick passes where guys can run after the catch or play action where guys get open after the fake.  Roethlisberger will be expected to get rid of the ball instead of holding onto it.

All in all it was a good first day.  Any day of mini camp or OTAs without an injury is a good day.  The team will be back on the field tomorrow and we will learn more about what things are going to look like next season.

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