Five Storylines To Watch During This Year’s Steelers Mandatory Minicamp

The Pittsburgh Steelers will conduct their three-day mandatory minicamp this week and it will be the last set of practices prior to training camp taking place. Here are the five main storylines that we’ll be watching this week.

Troy Time – Veteran safety Troy Polamalu will presumably be in town this week after choosing to not take part in any of the voluntary OTA practices. The three practices that Polamalu will take part in this week will likely help newcomer Mike Mitchell more than they will the eight-time Pro Bowler. While Mitchell has done his due diligence to get himself up to speed with the defense, it will be good for him to finally have the opportunity to pick the brain of Polamalu while both are on the field together.

Return Of Zumwalt – Steelers rookie linebacker Jordan Zumwalt will get an opportunity this week to show that he’s been studying his playbook while away from the team the last three weeks. Zumwalt, the Steelers first of two sixth-round draft picks, was unable to take part in the OTA practices due to UCLA being on the quarter system.

Worilds Calf – Starting outside linebacker Jason Worilds has been sidelined by a calf injury since the very first offseason practice took place. There have been no signs that he will be able to work during the mandatory minicamp and if he doesn’t, that will make 11 straight practices that he’s missed.

Tuitt Contract – Second-round draft pick Stephon Tuitt is now the only member of the 2014 draft class that is unsigned. One would think that will change by the end of this week as the two sides work out whatever offset or guarantees that are currently holding up the deal from getting done.

Shazier Progress – Baring something totally unforeseen at this point, rookie inside linebacker Ryan Shazier will be the opening week starter against the Cleveland Browns. He’s been practicing with the first team ever since the very first practice and must continue this week to gel with fellow starter Lawrence Timmons.

  • ApexSteel

    Just because I know Yinzers are gonna yinz I feel like I should tell you all that Mark Kaboly said that Worilds calf injury was not serious. There was just no reason to risk it getting serious by participating in OTAs.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I know that the mandatory training camp this week won’t decide starters or backups at different positions, but it is nice to see who is making progress and who isn’t. We’ve heard a lot about Shazier and how he looks, and also Dri Archer and how fast he looks, but not much mention of the other rookies or first-year guys. I’d like to hear about how the younger TE’s look and also some of the younger OL’s, as well. Getting into a fight is interesting news, but it doesn’t really say anything about how someone is progressing or impressing coaches.

  • John Hinton

    Timely comment here.

  • steeltown

    Definitely Polamalu and Mitchell getting acclimated and communicating and playing together is the biggest story for me this week.

    Obviously would like to hear some storylines or reports regarding guys like Tuitt, Moats, H.Jones, Zumwalt, Richardson and Bryant having solid minicamps

  • joed32

    I agree that the injury is nothing to worry about but what is a Yinzer? When I look it up it says people living in western Pennsylvania. I have asked on different forums but no one ever answers.

    I was born in Pittsburgh and lived there until 1963 and never heard the term.

  • srdan

    probably true. He has to play well this year to get paid, hence he will do whatever he can to stay in the games throughout the year. Practices wont get him paid, games will. And thats ok by me

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think one of the stories missed here is the battle for the WR spots on this team. Can Wheaton start? Will DHB make the team? What about Moye, Brown, and Bryant? There is a TON of competition.

    Overall, I think the underlying story is how much improvement has this team made in the offseason? Have we upgraded enough to make a run at the Super Bowl or just enough to make the playoffs, or is this going to be a year with a large drop back simply due to the youth this team is starting to infuse into the lineup?

  • srdan

    I also want to see:
    1. Who is returning kicks/punts
    2. DHBs role
    3. Bryant’s attitude

  • steeltown

    It’s the same as saying y’all in the south, you tend to hear a lot of ‘yous’ ‘yunz’ and ‘yinz’ in PA and really all around the Appalachian area… I myself am guilty of saying it

  • Steelers12328882

    Yeah I would add a 6th storyline to the article featuring Wheaton, because other than the OLine the WRs are what I’m most concerned with.

  • dgh57

    This week I want to hear some good news from positions that lack depth and that’s OLB, CB, OT.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I don’t have worry about our WR position, I am excited about it. Last year we basically used 3 WRs, this year I think we have better depth. We had 223 receptions last year from 3 WRs….all other WRs 8….EIGHT! I think we have much better depth this year.

  • Big White

    I am curious to see how William Gay responds this year. Minus getting beat by a great throw in the Super Bowl, Gay has always been a gnat back there in coverage. With Lebeau having an affinity for Gay, i’m not sure he’s out of the conversation as a starting corner or at the very least the league’s best 3rd DB.

  • Johnny Loose

    lol i’m with you. funny

  • Johnny Loose

    that great throw in the superbowl and getting trucked by AP. I can remember both of those plays vividly. Still a good CB but I see him as nickel corner unless something goes terribly wrong with Ike or Cortez. In that case, I think Shark steps in and they give him a shot at nickel.

  • Johnny Loose

    I like Zumwalt’s intensity I hope he’s able to catch on at inside or outside LB. If he’s a true student of the game he could become a quality depth player/special teams ace for us. If Chris Carter makes the 53 man roster I will be thoroughly surprised and a bit worried we haven’t been able to replace him yet. We need monsters at OLB and Carter just doesn’t seem capable of bringing it. I’ve been wrong before though.

  • Big White

    Reminds me of Terrell Buckley. Buckley never lived up to his draft status, but for probably a decade was a tremendous guy in and out of breaks with a nose for the football.

  • ApexSteel

    According to Dejan Kovacevic, DHB has already been dropping A LOT of balls. So his role might be the one of first Wideout cut.

  • joed32

    Thanks, I was beginning to think it was a derogatory name of some kind. I do remember people saying “yunz”.

  • srdan

    Not what i wanted to hear.

  • walter mason

    What are yinz doin? Red up your room! You dont remember your Mom saying that? I myself born and raised in Pittsburgh, moved to Florida, progressed from yinz to yous to y’all. What are y’all doin’ out ch’air over yonder? I learned to talk southern style but it sounds so funny compared to yinzers.

  • joed32

    “Red up your room”, I do remember that. It’s been over 50 years since I left but I have visited a few times.

  • steelster

    Where is the love for the punter and kicker. They are people also.

  • William Bigelow

    Ha !!!

  • Smashmouth

    Hopefully the D will be able to pick up there game this year with this injection of younger players but i keep wondering about the seriousness of worillds calf injury

  • Matt Manzo

    I’d love to hear something about Shaq Richardson!
    I’m sure Troy and Mike will gel just fine.
    But most of all I’m looking for Zumwalt to come out swingin!

  • Don Lowery

    Actually itshould be younz!!!! Born and raised here. We use the term younz to refer to a group of people.

  • joed32


  • William Maloni

    Some people from Western Pa would say “Yinz” rather than “you,” as in, “Are yinz coming to the store?”
    Despite all of the joking about it, you still hear it.