The thing I like best about August is the beginning of the football season. Â This past weekend I made the trek to the metropolis of Latrobe to see the opening day of Steelers Training Camp 2010 – time to put an official end to the off-season.Â It’s time to bring everyone to St. Vincent’s College and focus on one thing, building a football team.
The top takeaway from the day was that Ben is still the franchise QB.Â He actually looks like he’s in good shape, no crazy hair, no extra weight – he’s very reminiscient of the 2004-2005 Ben.Â His passing looked good and he was rotated in practice with Byron Leftwich and the first team.Â After practice, he was mobbed by the media and then signed autographs for about 30 minutes.Â The bottom line, he’s doing what he needs to do, or at least that’s what it seems. Fans were happy to see him, and more importantly, he worked with the other QBs and his teammates during practice.
In an nterview with media, Hines Ward said Ben realizes it’s a privilege to be in the NFL and that what he’s gone through makes you humble, brings you down and he knows it’s an honor to be on the field.
Hines went on to say that Ben’s still the franchise quarterback, we just don’t have him for the first 4 to 6 games.
Likewise, Coach Tomlin said that this is the challenge in the NFL – you always have to adapt and move on.Â He said that unlike an injury, at least they knew this situation with Ben was coming and are able to prepare.Â Fortunately, we also have good quarterbacks to fill Ben’s spot for the beginning of the season.
Yesterday, the NFL Commish said Ben is progressing, they had their little sit-down and I am sure we’ll know by the opening game what the terms will actually be – though I am guessing 4 versus the 6.
The other big takeaway for me is that we have two very good rookie wide receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. Â That #3 role is wide open and it looks to be a good battle.
Where we need to see progress, though, is the O-line and the defense. Â I say defense only because we didn’t really get to see much of them, and we need to know that Troy can play to capacity and Aaron Smith is healthy. Â The off-season additions of bringing Foote and McFadden back make sense but we need to be ready for the future.
I’m ready now to see some competition – you never really know what you have til you see it full-speed, in pads and with real competition. Â Let’s go!