For now, the Steelers and the rest of the league are in glorified OTAs, having recently added helmets to the mix, as players gradually work their way back to something resembling practice.
It seems apparent that Mike Tomlin is ready to proceed, within the limitations.
“We are still transitioning into football, and there is a lot of significant work to be done in that regard,” Tomlin said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “More than anything, we’re talking about culture-building things, how we practice, how we compete professionally, how we compete appropriately based on attire.”
The preferred attire (i.e. full pads) will come Monday at Heinz Field, the first of 14 padded practices before the start of the regular season. And Tomlin plans to make full use of them.
“That is our intent,” Tomlin said. “We are willing to adjust based on what transpires between now and then. And that is really our mentality about this next month or so. We realize there are certain boxes that need to be checked between now and when we step into a stadium, but we also realize that we might have to alter the pace of some of those intended plans based on the readiness — or lack thereof — of the group.”
Readiness will be relative around the league this year, with such a limited amount of time to prepare because of the COVID-19 pandemic which wiped out the entire offseason, and has limited what teams can do so far.