The Steelers aren’t afraid of physical practices, and coach Mike Tomlin seems to take no small measure of pride in their being different than most teams in that regard.
But now that injuries are beginning to stack up, his quarterback wonders if they’ve gone too far.
Via Ed Bouchette of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan there could be a correlation between the two.
“We have a lot of injuries,” Roethlisberger said. “I think a lot of our stuff stems from we’re one of the most physical football teams in training camp, in practice, you know. We do more hitting than most teams do and more [practices in] pads.”
The Steelers have a long list of players missing time with injuries, with defensive end Cam Heyward (hamstring) the latest. But
Tomlin declared Cam Heyward out for Sunday’s game in Miami after their star defensive end came down with a hamstring injury in the first half Sunday against the New York Jets. But he joins players including linebacker Ryan Shazier, offensive linemen Marcus Gilbert and Ramon Foster and a number of other starters, along with outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who is on injured reserve.
Roethlisberger said the differences in routines was evident when they practiced against the Lions in the preseason.
“They hadn’t even gone a day in pads and we had already done like two weeks,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re talking to their players how physical our practices are.
“I think sometimes it takes a toll on some guys, you know, hamstrings and quads and guys reinjuring things.”
He also said: “We talk about being a physical football team and we are a physical football team, but we also have to take care of our guys.”
That’s pretty much a direct shot at Tomlin’s emphasis on being physical, though he didn’t mention his head coach by name. And while no one else has stepped up to complain, having the quarterback do so will certainly get the organization’s attention.