Training Camp: Sights and sounds from Tuesday’s practice at Heinz Field

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training CampPool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Veterans are back, and we have some photos and video from the workout Tuesday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 Training Camp is weird.

There is no way around it.

The coronavirus pandemic forcing the team to stay at Heinz Field is just one of the oddities about this year’s training camp. The pads haven’t gone on yet, players are still in the acclimation process and reporters aren’t there to see what is going on yet.

In other words, we, the fans, are reliant on others to get news as to what practices look like, even if they are walk-throughs, and video of players going through the motions.

The Steelers have been releasing more information to the public to help the fan base feel as if they are on the hill side at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, and while it isn’t the same it certainly is a welcome sight.

Below are some images and video from the day that was at Heinz Field. Everything from pictures and video from practice, links to interviews with Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Canada and some links from articles you may have missed from the day that was here at BTSC.

Photos

Video

Interviews

Article Links

Ben Roethlisberger talks about the elbow injury which had bothered him for years

Matt Canada talks about how he has been preparing for 2020 during his year off

Strange times will cause for strange roster moves

Ike Hilliard leaning on Roethlisberger to get his wide receivers ready for 2020

Hilliard has high praise for his young wide receiving corps

Roethlisberger opens up about lingering elbow injury which ended his 2019 season

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers’ franchise quarterback opens up about the elbow injury which worsened in 2019, ending his season and requiring surgery.

As Ben Roethlisberger stepped in front of a camera for a virtual group press conference, the first time talking to reporters since his season ended in Week 2 of the 2019 season, he admitted he felt nervous.

He has answered questions a million times in his career, but 2019 was the first year he was sidelined for the remainder of a season due to an injury. Once Roethlisberger got comfortable in this unique setting, he opened up about his elbow, mainly how the injury had bothered him for years.

This from Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

After Roethlisberger was lost for the season last year, several of his offensive linemen told media this wasn’t a new injury. How it was something the quarterback had been dealing with for a long time.

But no one had heard it form Roethlisberger himself…until now.

In the game against the Seahawks in Week 2 at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger detailed what it felt like, and how he knew something wasn’t right. This is per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:

Even though the injury ended his 2019 season, Roethlisberger did not feel like he was finished with his NFL career. This per Missi Matthews of Steelers.com:

Monday was an important day for Roethlisber. As veterans reported to training camp for workouts and walk-throughs, it was the first time he has put his arm through a regular practice. Sure, he had thrown a couple days a week leading up to training camp, but nothing like the workout he went through at Heinz Field.

The result? He woke up Tuesday feeling “great”.

It is now when the medical personnel, and coaching staff, will have to monitor Roethlisberger moving forward. Clearly, the surgery was a success, and his rehabilitation has been positive to date. However, working him back and getting his arm ready for the rigors of a regular season are two completely different things.

In fact, when asked Roethlisberger spoke about why no one within the Steelers organization ever called the injury a Tommy John surgery. Why? Because, according to Roethlisberger, there is no name for the surgery he underwent last year.

This offseason many compared Roethlisberger’s injury to the injury Jale Delhomme suffered while he was quarterbacking the Panthers, but Roethlisberger made it seem as if his injury truly was unique in every way.

The good news here is how all reports coming from the doctors, coaching staff and now Roethlisberger are just that — good news. If this trend continues into the 2020 regular season, it is safe to say the Steelers should be considered more contenders than pretenders as they set their sights on a seventh Lombardi trophy for their trophy case.

NFL, NFLPA agree to terms on CBA side letter in 2020

NFL: International Series-Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles RamsKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL and NFLPA have done what many thought they couldn’t do…get a deal done heading into the 2020 regular season.

There are a lot of similarities between Major League Baseball and the NFL. Both organizations will be/are going to compete outside a bubble. The league and owners had some major differences of opinions heading into the season. Protocols were put in place to help keep staff and players as safe as possible.

With the similarities out of the way, now for the differences.

Unlike baseball, the NFL and NFLPA have been able to find middle ground on a multitude of topics from preseason games, acclimation periods, testing protocol and more leading up to the 2020 season. MLB was put in a holding pattern for the majority of the summer, but the NFL is ready to start on time after the league and union came to terms on a side letter for their current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and playing during a pandemic.

As Tom Pelissero of NFL Network states, the deal is done. Game on.

This is exciting for football fans, even the skeptics who don’t think a season is an actual possibility, but there is more to this letter than the two parties saying games will be played as scheduled.

No, there are a lot of details which need to be dissected and digested so fans know what to expect in the coming days/weeks.

Information on players who choose to opt-out, and the deadline for this decision to be made:

When drug tests, and how it will change under the current CBA, will begin:

NFL players can be disciplined for breaking league/club rules as what the league calls “High Risk COVID-19 conduct”. The fines can be heavy, and are meant to keep players in a bubble as much as possible during the season.

One sticking point for the NFLPA was a stipend for players if they opt-out, or if games are lost due to the coronavius pandemic.

With the massive amount of testing these players and coaches are undergoing daily, you have to wonder what would happen if a player is diagnosed right before a game? What options will the team have?

The list of players who have, or will, opt-out of the 2020 season is long, and if a player opts out they are helping their team as it pertains to salary cap space.

Expanded practice squads were already going to be a part of the NFL in 2020, but they are taking things a step further this season to help fill out rosters if one or more players test positive.

It hasn’t been pretty, but when you look at the negotiations of a league like MLB, it has been smooth sailing. The players had demands, and the owners caved on some big issues to make sure they have a product on television in 2020.

Game on.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the upcoming 2020 regular season.