Several Things To Look For During The Steelers Third OTA Session Of 2013

The third and final OTA session of the 2013 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers gets underway on Monday and while we do not expect a lot of information this week, here are a few things we will look for nonetheless.

Attendance – Safety Troy Polamalu is expected to be absent again this week, but outside of him and rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton, the Steelers could very well have cornerback Ike Taylor back this week. It should be noted, however, that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Invitational Golf Tournament takes place on Monday, so don\’t be surprised if the Steelers quarterback and a few other veteran players are allowed to skip the Monday practice to take part in it.

Right Side Tackle RepsMike Adams will be sidelined for a while as he continues to recover from his stabbing wounds suffered early Saturday morning so the Steelers will have a new first team tackle this week as a result. Being that Kelvin Beachum is expected to continue his work at the backup center position this week, Guy Whimper, who the Steelers signed several weeks ago, could very well wind up being the next man up at right tackle.

More Money = New Bodies? – Now that the calendar has flipped over to June, the Steelers have an additional $5.5 million in salary cap space to work with thanks to the Willie Colon release earlier in the offseason. With Adams expected to be sidelined until training camp, the Steelers might could use another tackle body to get them through the remaining offseason practices. In addition, there has been speculation that free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston could land in Pittsburgh ever since he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs, so we will have to see if any movement is made to bring him in now that they have a few extra cap dollars to work with.

More Draft Picks Inked? – Heading into the third OTA session, the Steelers still have four draft picks that remained unsigned. With the additional $5.5 million of cap space now available, it should only be a matter of time before linebacker Jarvis Jones, running back Le\’Veon Bell, quarterback Landry Jones and defensive end Nick Williams come to terms. One would think that the latter two will sign this week.

Injured Players Back? – Outside of the Adams off-the-field incident, the Steelers have been fortunate so far when it comes to on-the-field injuries and hopefully that string of luck continues this week. Last week, cornerback Justin King was sidelined with a hamstring injury of sorts, so hopefully he can resume practicing. Rookie tackle Mike Golic Jr. was able to work last Thursday after missing time last week with some sort of lower leg injury, so it appears as if he should be able to go this week.

  • steeltown

    Bryan, I thought Justin King had the hamstring issue?

  • steeltown

    It will be interesting to see who plays 1st Team RT.. my guess is Whimper as well being that he has starting experience, but I would assume Farrell and maybe Golic Jr. (if healthy) are right on his heels

    Also, more Woods at NT??

  • Shea Fahr

    Yes and how Vince Williams continues to progress too.

  • Bradys_Dad

    He’s a camp body – adios by the end of July.

  • emac2

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new body show up at RT. Hopefully someone there shows themselves to be worthy of starting but this Adams injury really shows how the line is just not deep enough for the regular season. I think, at this point anyway, that an injury to Gilbert would screw up the entire line as Adams went to LT Foster went to RT and god knows which undrafted FA would play LG.

    And this scenario assumes Adams is back healthy.

    I think the best bet is too pick someone up following the final roster cut downs but we can’t field a professional offensive line in the third OTA and that’s not a comforting situation.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Now we should get Lego re-signed at the league min which would add some desperately needed leadership and experience to the O line. I know, I know, he’s not a great guard or tackle but Maurkice goes down each year for a game or two and we need that experience. Kelvin is not THAT guy. Lego is excellent (and cheap)insurance for the league min.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Why is it that the Steelers at least on paper, seemingly to be going backward with moving players to NT? For example if we were to regain our scheme by putting players up to their strength and by their skillsets… why isn’t Ziggy Hood getting some reps at NT? Not implying he should be our NT but if Al Woods is getting some reps, I think Ziggy deserve some.

    McLendon already proven to be versatile and with Cameron Heyward being other Defensive End I’m baffled why they have begun the experiment. Now’s a good time!

    Perhaps this is a strong hint of Ziggy’s future? If they are keeping Ziggy at LE and getting more starting reps (he is likely to get majority of reps over other D-linemen due to either schematic versatility or age) so they must like him there.

  • sgtrobo

    Ziggy isn’t getting NT reps because he is a 1-gap guy and our NT has to be a 2-gap guy it seems, although mcLendon seems more 1-gap as well. *shrugs*