Training camp move-in day for the Pittsburgh Steelers went off without a hitch on Friday and for the most part, nothing really earth-shattering happened.
Early in the day, Bob Labriola reported that team president Art Rooney II told him that a contract extension for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will have to wait until next offseason. Rooney added that the team has been in contact with Roethlisberger and his agent concerning the situation and feels that there won’t be any issues getting the extension done after the season is over as the salary cap is expected to rise once again next year. This isn’t overly shocking news, but at least now we won’t have to wonder about for the rest of training camp. With roughly $6.5 million in available salary cap space currently at their disposal, I would look for cornerback Cortez Allen to get an extension prior to the start of the regular season. We’ll also wait and see if tackle Marcus Gilbert is also on the to-do list.
Center Maurkice Pouncey arrived at training camp and didn’t avoid the media, who decided not to ask him about the alleged incident that took place a few weeks ago at a Miami nightclub. Later on in the afternoon, news surfaced that Pouncey and his twin brother Mike Pouncey were both being sued by the three people accusing them of the assaulting them. It’s important to remember that neither of the Pounceys have been charged with any crime since the alleged incident took place.
Second-year safety Shamarko Thomas told the media on Friday about his offseason that included him training with Troy Polamalu out in California.
“It was like a karate movie,” said Thomas. “It’s ninja like stuff. It works for him and I thought it worked for me too.”
The always entertaining Ike Taylor had his fun with the media as he photographed them with his Google glasses and a GoPro camera upon his arrival. Taylor made it clear that he’s not ready to walk away from the game just yet even though his contract will be up after the 2014 season.
The rookies apparently settled in a little early. Dri Archer and Shaquille Richardson were both spotted carrying in brand new 40 inch flat screen televisions that they apparently had just bought from the local Walmart.
Like I said, nothing exciting happened on Friday.
The annual run test went well and head coach Mike Tomlin said that he was pleased with what he observed. He did say, however, that safety Mike Mitchell and running back Alvester Alexander will both start off training camp on the Active PUP list with groin pulls. They are both expected to be sidelined for about a week or so and Tomlin said they will be monitored daily.
Absent on Friday were punter Adam Podlesh and guard Ramon Foster. Podlesh’s wife is about to have a baby any day now while Foster’s mother unexpectedly passed away.
During his press conference, Tomlin talked about how he expects this to be another physical training camp complete with lots of live tackling that could possibly begin as early as Monday. He also downplayed the speed narrative that’s been floating around since the draft.
The Steelers first practice will take place on Saturday and our very own Alex Kozora will be in attendance and have a full recap for you later in the evening.