Tomlin Gives New Players Taste of Heinz Field

Steelers practice under lights at Family Fest

Josh Rowntree
August 19, 2018 - 10:57 pm
Steelers Christian Scotland-Williamson, Pharaoh McKeever and Bucky Hodges at Heinz Field

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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Football coaches are responsible for teaching their players a variety of tasks, but it can be easy to overlook the little things, particularly details away from the field. 

On Sunday night, the Steelers had their annual Family Fest at Heinz Field and used it as an opportunity to get players familiar with a game day setting. 

“Man, really awesome to get in our venue and get some routine things done, but also prepare ourselved for Saturday night” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “A lot of new Steelers here going through the process of finding parking and making sure their families are taken care of and which hallway to walk down and so forth.

“Now, when they come in here on Saturday, they can focus solely on the opportunity and their performance.”

The Steelers will host Tennessee in their third preseason game Saturday evening. But on top of the off-the-field learnings, there was plenty to be accomplished on the Heinz Field turf. 

“A lot of good things done in a formal and informal way here tonight,” Tomlin added. “A lot of regular things done from a football perspective, situational ball, red zone and so forth. Just continuing to grow and learn in those areas.”

Pittsburgh is using the week to give players a taste of normal game weeks and will likely play more starters Saturday than it has through its first two games. 

“The sand is running through the hourglass,” Tomlin said. “This process that we’ve gone through started back with phase one in the Spring. You sense the finality of it as we close in on the last two weeks. We’re 90 [players> trying to become 53, so there’s urgency associated with that.”

Shazier Walks with Teammates

Injured Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier walked out of the Heinz Field tunnel, without the use of a cane, with his fellow linebackers before practice. 

Shazier has actively been attending practices and games as he recovered from a spinal injury in December. 

Special Olympics Athletes Honored

Before the game, Special Olympics athletes joined local police to carry the Special Olympics torch into Heinz Field. 

The athletes lined up, following a ‘parade of champions’ and greeted Steelers players as they took the field. 

Frisbee Dogs!

Steelers wide receivers made acrobatic catches Sunday night, but may have been outdone by man’s best friend.

The crowd was entertained before practice by frisbee-catching dogs. 

Hear all of what Mike Tomlin had to say below.