The Pittsburgh Steelers will report to Latrobe for training camp on Friday with their first practice scheduled to take place on Saturday. As we count down the remaining few days, here are five things that we all should expect to take place prior to the team hitting the practice fields of Saint Vincent College.
PUP List – It is almost guaranteed that tight end Heath Miller and linebacker Sean Spence will be listed by head coach Mike Tomlin on the Active PUP list at the start of training camp. Will there be any other surprises on that list? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is supposed to be ready to go after having a knee procedure done during the final week of OTA practices as is tackle Mike Adams, who should be close to being fully recovered from his stabbing that took place on June 1st. The only other player who has a chance of starting camp on the Active PUP list is rookie cornerback Terry Hawthorne, but his knee procedure was done far enough in advance that he too should be ready to go for the first practice.
Conditioning Test – The annual conditioning test will take place Friday afternoon after all the players have reported and checked in, but with so much emphasis being put on it during the offseason, and nose tackle Casey Hampton nowhere in sight; it is hard to fathom that head coach Mike Tomlin will have anything negative to say about the shape that all of his players arrived at Latrobe in.
Pouncey Meets The Press – Sooner or later; center Maurkice Pouncey will have to answer questions about the “Free Hernandez” hats that he and his twin brother Mike Pouncey were photographed wearing recently during their birthday party. In addition, Pouncey will surely be asked specifically about Aaron Hernandez, who is currently jailed and charged with murder. The sooner the fourth-year center can get these questions answered and behind him, the better it is for the team, so hopefully he uses the first few days of training camp to do just that.
Mike Tomlin Press Conference – Last year, Tomlin had no choice but to talk about the absence of wide receiver Mike Wallace at the start of training camp. This year, the only real distraction that the Steelers have as they head into training camp is the situation with Pouncey, but even that is minor in contrast to other things the team has faced upon their arrival to Latrobe. We aren\’t likely to learn much from Tomlin on Friday, but it is an annual event that is sure to produce a few talking points nonetheless.
Noticeable Arrivals – Last year, defensive end Brett Keisel arrived to Latrobe riding a Kubota front-loading tractor and a few years ago former Steelers linebacker James Harrison pulled up to camp in a smart-car. Will any of the players attempt to top that this year, or will just be all business instead?