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04-22-2007, 09:36 AM
Steelers minicamp heightens coaches' insight

Sunday, April 22, 2007

As the Steelers continue to evaluate college players in preparation for the NFL draft, they are also using minicamp to take a closer look at what they've got.

It is no coincidence that Mike Tomlin scheduled the first of two Steelers minicamps -- the NFL permits teams with new head coaches to have two such camps instead of one -- the week before the draft.

"It just gives you a better insight in terms of the men that you work with," Tomlin said of seeing his players in a live, if controlled, setting. "And I think that's important if you talk about evaluating a team and moving forward and adding to your team."

Tomlin said this minicamp, which concludes today with a morning practice, isn't to look at players to see where they might fit in regards to the depth chart. It is, he said, a time for Tomlin and his assistants to get a better read on their players and with an eye -- make that plenty of eyes -- toward the draft.

"It's just good to get a general reference of the guys that you have firsthand outside of watching them on tape," Tomlin said. "There's a different feel you get as a coaching standpoint when you watch guys work firsthand; you see them communicate, you see what happens between snaps. You see how they emotionally respond to successes and failures."

-- Scott Brown

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_503993.html