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Old 05-16-2006, 05:31 AM   #1
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Default Mini-camp a success for Steelers

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

By Teresa Varley

The Steelers completed their three-day mini-camp on Monday with a single practice and afterwards head coach Bill Cowher was pleased with the way things went.

"It is a good start," said Cowher. "I think for the young guys it is indoctrination to terminology, indoctrination to our system and how we approach things. I think for the coaches, it is an opportunity to get a first impression. It is the start of a long process, but a very important start."

It's the first time the players have gathered for official workouts since Super Bowl XL and Cowher is pleased with the mindset of the players.

"It is hectic, and I think it will continue to be," said Cowher. "There are a lot of things you have to be careful you don't get caught up in. I told the team that there are fewer than 11 weeks until training camp, and you can't forget the foundation that was built a year ago, and part of that process is the commitment and dedication and sacrifice you have to make, particularly these next 11 weeks.

"I like it. A lot is going to have to do with how we handle the challenges before us, and it's about re-creating that chemistry because we have lost some key guys, not only on the field but in the locker room. That is a natural evolution. I do like where they are, as long as we stay grounded and not take ourselves too seriously I think we'll be fine."

One player who was lost, and whose absence is being felt particularly by one of his teammates, is Chris Hope. Fellow safety Troy Polamalu had an excellent on and off field chemistry with Hope, but Cowher believes that the players are there that can step in and fill Hope's free safety spot and build chemistry as well. The team signed veteran free agent Ryan Clark this off-season, drafted Anthony Smith and have Tyrone Carter returning.

"I think we've got some people back there," said Cowher. "You'd like to keep everybody; you'd like to keep all 22 starters, but in this system that's hard to do. I like the fact that it's going to be competitive back there. They're not where they need to be, but these coaching sessions will help with the communication.

"After going through a training camp I think we'll line up with somebody there Troy can feel comfortable with when it's all said and done. That's a process as well. I don't want to diminish the importance of playing with another player, particularly in our system at the safety position because of all the communication that demands. Unfortunately, Chris was the only safety Troy knew, and now we'll have another one there. When it's all said and done, I think we'll be fine."

While mini-camp might be over, the work has not ended for the team. They will begin coaching sessions this week which will run until June 8, at which point the team breaks until training camp.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mini-camp a success for Steelers

There seems to be alot of talk about how much the players have gone through since the super bowl victory. I wonder if everyone is in good shape, or if they hav ebeen slacking while doing the publicity deals?
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