Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Setting A Tone With The Running Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday training camp practice included a live 11-on-11 tackling session, which is really unheard of this time of year. Members of the media were indeed shocked and they probably wondered if they slept through training camp and the preseason.

Head coach Mike Tomlin gave his reasons for the live tackling session following practice.

“It’s just appropriate in today’s NFL,” said Tomlin. “We have off days. We only get a chance to practice once a day. There are fewer and fewer opportunities to sort themselves out. We’ve got some young guys. We’ve got to sort through a lot of young guys and we’ve got to take advantage of opportunities to show improvement. That is what it is about.”

The Steelers have emphasized all offseason that they must improve their running game. They drafted Michigan State running back Le\’Veon Bell in the second-round of the draft and hired Jack Bicknell Jr., who is implementing more outside zone, as their new offensive line coach. On Wednesday, Tomlin wanted to see how far along that running game is right now as well as set a tone for the rest of camp.

“(Coach Tomlin) has to set a tone,” Clark told Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Not necessarily because we were 8-8 last year, but because we want to be a physical football team. Offensively, we are going to run the ball. We drafted a running back in the second round who is a pounder and can break tackles so you want to get those guys reps.”

Their are so many CBA rules regarding practices, but Tomlin seems intent on pushing them to the limits. On the flip side, however, he is doing his best to protect his players as he has mandated that all of his offensive linemen wear knee braces.

“We had the opportunity to introduce some live tackling. We’ll continue to do that as we grow and develop. We’ll continue to introduce situational football. We need to grow in complexity as we continue to come out here schematically, what we are asking them to do and will continue to do that. I like the way they responded.”

  • steeltown

    Some of the CBA guidelines are ridiculous.. during the regular season you can only have 14padded practices, let me say that again during a 17week regular season you can only have 14padded practices, that’s LESS than ONE a week

    I know the goal is to protect players from getting injured in training camp and during the week in regular season and what not, but might that also have a negative effect, the conditioning has been atrocious League wide and the amount of hamstring and achilles injuries seems to have risen IMO in part to less practice and time spent in-game situations. It also gives coaches and players LESS time to actually simulate in-game tackling/proper technique for full speed tackling, which has been a huge discussion of late regarding head injury

  • tpalya

    The game is going to suffer because of it.

  • BurgherinMD

    And yet they wonder why tackling fundamentals are suffering and MORE guys get hurt…Deion would be proud.

  • Shea Fahr

    And that my friend is why the development of the younger players has been a bit stubbed as well. The New NFL.

  • charles

    Injuries in the preseason was one of the factors that got Singletary fired in SF. Tomlin is taking a calculated risk.