Jul 26, 2014; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (center) address the media after drills during training camp at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
As Steelers Nation prepares for its annual trek to St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe to enjoy watching their favorite team prepare for the 2015 season, head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff have already begun the process of preparation with scheduled mini-camps and OTAs.
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If you are unaware of what an OTA is, it stands for “Off-Season Organized Activities.” In a word, that means team training sessions and practices without pads.
It also provides the rookies a chance to get a jump start on their NFL careers and begin the long and sometimes difficult learning curve that separates college football and the pros.
What began on May 4 and will continue through May 21, are instructionals and some drills by Tomlin’s coaches taking place on the Steelers; south side facility.
The NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has set ground rules for these OTAs that will not permit any live contact, or any drills that pit the offense vs. the defense. The Steelers held their rookie mini-camp this past weekend from Friday through Sunday.
What comes next are more instruction and some OTAs that will include instruction and drills and will take place on May 26 and continue through four weeks.
The OTAs are not allowed to involve live contact once again but what is allowed are drills of 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11. The Steelers have set dates for these sessions and they are: May 26, May 27, May 28, June 2, June 3, June 4, June 8, June 9, June 10, and June 11.
Finally, there will be a mandatory mini-camp to begin on June 16 and run for three days. The players will then get a one month reprieve before the really hard work kicks in at this Summer’s training camp.
With so many new faces this year on Tomlin’s team that includes an old face that takes over as defensive coordinator, those watching up close and from afar at what takes place in Latrobe should make for one of the more intriguing training camps in recent Pittsburgh Steelers history. The Steelers aren’t alone in OTAs and mini-camps as the rest the NFL team have also begun the process.