Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin likes what he’s seen over the last few months, even though he knows it won’t matter much if the Steelers can’t build on it when they report for training camp next month.
The team wrapped up minicamp on Thursday, meeting with coaches before Tomlin let his players go early rather than take the field.
“I just told the guys it’s been a great offseason,” Tomlin said. “But, and I think that but is significant because legitimately, you’d like to find ways to measure offseasons and feel good about it, but the reality is these types of processes are measured based on results.”
The results didn’t meet Pittsburgh’s lofty standards a year ago, when the Steelers slipped to 8-8 and missed the playoffs. The roster underwent a significant makeover, with veterans like James Harrison, Max Starks, Mike Wallace and Casey Hampton leaving, replaced by younger players who need to make an impact if Pittsburgh wants to bounce back.
So far, Tomlin is pleased.
“As I sit here today I feel good about the foundation we’ve laid for 2013,” he said. “I like the efforts of the guys, the messages have been received. We’re just in a good place, but that doesn’t assure us anything. We understand what we do moving forward is what’s really significant.”
Tomlin noted that the Steelers will “play it by ear,” as far as working the injured players back into the mix, but he expected all of them to be ready for training camp. That might not include linebacker Sean Spence (left knee) or tight end Heath Miller (right knee), although being ready for the season is more likely.
“No, nothing miraculous,” Miller said. “I feel pretty good right now. It’s kind of lonely in here when you’re here by yourself, so it was nice to have the other guys around. It’s encouraging to watch everybody else work, and you just try to be inspired by how hard they’re working and try to get back to where they’re at.”