The Pittsburgh Steelers surprised a lot of people over the course of the last week as live tackling was implemented during training camp earlier than it has in several years. Now, with several players dinged up, it appears as if head coach Mike Tomlin is backing off a little bit as Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider is reporting on Twitter that the team is in shorts on Monday.
#Steelers in shorts. No tackling today.
— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) August 5, 2013
Tomlin decided to set a tone by having earlier physical practices this year and it also gave him a chance to get a good look at some of the younger players fighting for roster spots in the process. During the last several days, the Steelers head coach seemed to be pleased with what he has observed despite it leading to a few extra players being sidelined with a few bumps and bruises.
The Steelers first preseason game will take place on Saturday, so perhaps Tomlin is just throttling things down now in an effort to save some extra wear and tear between now and then.
While there have been a few more dinged up players this year, the only serious injury suffered thus far was to undrafted guard Nik Embernate, who tore both his ACL and MCL last week during one-on-drills.
Tomlin has a method to his madness and I am sure he will be asked to explain the team now working in shorts at the conclusion of practice.
No tackling at Steelers practice today. Team takes the field wearing pads, but shorts instead of football pants.
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) August 5, 2013