Exclusive with Steelers OT Brian Mihalik

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First, as a guy in his second round of OTAs and mini-camp with the Steelers, noticing anything different with the team and schemes this season?

Not really – it’s the same thing as last year – pretty much the same stuff. Same coaches…same players…

Your story is an interesting one – very similar to Alejandro Villinueva’s. You came out of college two years ago as a defensive lineman and are not playing offensive tackle. Talk a bit about how that happened.

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Interview with Steelers/Former Pitt TE Scott Orndoff

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With @SteelNationAssc , Steelers tight end Scott Orndoff discusses making the roster, mentors (including his father who played professional football), skill development and more.

Read more by former Steelers via the book Steelers Takeaways: Player Memories Through the Decades.  To order, just click on the book:

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Interview with Steelers WR Demarcus Ayers

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First, tell us a bit about how this offseason differs from last one for you?

Well it’s not so much new just more competition. It’s been more competitive as a team this year versus last year. We had great attendance in OTAs and mini-camp – they key players showed up besides Bell.

Any concern amongst teammates about Bell?

Well many of the players around the league don’t show up to OTAs and mini-camp. I don’t know Le’Veon’s situation but I don’t think it’s about money, just knowing him as a person. I think it’s more about the surgery he had and coming off of it. I know what that’s like. Once he’s back we all know what he’ll give us. I don’t think anyone has any concerns. And it helps because the guys behind him get more reps and that’s huge for us. You don’t get those once the season starts. And that’s chances for receivers in the passing game not just backs.

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Interview with Steelers DL Lavon Hooks

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First, you were a good basketball player in high school and college. Why chose football?

I was too short for my position – I was a center. I took on football but I was new to it – it was  a challenge.

Happy about the decision?

I’m definitely happy. I mean, I’m definitely not content though with where I’m at.

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Interview with Tribune-Review Steelers Reporter Chris Adamski

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Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTribtakes us around the horn on the Steelers squad to discuss depth and roster questions/issues early in the offseason.

First, let’s start with defense and the scheme  – inn speaking with some of the players this week it seems like the one common theme on defense is improved communication and some changes in scheme. Thoughts?

Well – if you consider that 40% of the starters (I consider five defensive backs with the slot corner to be starters) are entering their second year in the secondary, that’s big. The Steelers were not hiding their communication issues last year. It was the rallying cry all off season – fix the communication issues. Which makes sense since they started two rookies – one of which was out of position early on.

In terms of scheme, testing things is routine now. They have the whole off season to get it together, especially with this part as an emphasis.

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Interview with Steelers TE Phazahn Odom

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First, I know you’re in between OTA’s and camp. What are you doing with yourself now?

Well, I’m in New York and just took my finals – I happy – I did really well. I know I have  rookie development soon. Then camp after that.

You just wrapped up OTA’s a short while ago. What were the things you took away from there that you realized you need to work on most?

Staying low in my run blocking.  More power in my legs to get more leverage, I’m taking extra time working on the agility shoot and working on the blocking bags.

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Pittsburgh Pantheon of Sports – Best Championship % of all Cities Since 1970

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Interview with former Steeler Carlos Emmons

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With SteelCityUnderground, I interview former Steelers LB Carlos Emmons on making the transition  as a rookie outside linebacker to the NFL, pass rush techniques, frustrations of dropping into coverage, mentors and more.

CARLOS EMMONS

Read more interviews by former Steelers via the book Steelers Takeaways: Player Memories Through the Decades.  To order, just click on the book:

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J.T. Thomas Discusses DB Play with the Current and 70’s Steelers Teams

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We had the opportunity to interview former Steeler cornerback JT Thomas on Steel Nation Radio Presented By Steelers Takeaways.  Thomas was an All-Pro CB and part of all four Steeler Super Bowls in the 70′s and knows a thing or two about playing in the secondary, an area the Steelers have addressed heavily in the past two drafts.

We find out what JT thinks about coming into the league out of college, playing the slot, what teammates and coaches taught him and how he thinks the black and gold will do this year, among many other items!

Listen to the interview here

Read more by former Steelers via the book Steelers Takeaways: Player Memories Through the Decades.  To order, just click on the book:

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Training Camp Stories by Former Steelers

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Donovan Woods: “I think I was really just a training camp body, but I just wanted an opportunity.  I thought I would be playing inside but they put me at outside in mini-camp so I was outside. There were a ton of guys I thought. Though I played outside all camp and preseason, we had some training camp injuries and in the last preseason game against Carolina and I volunteered to go to inside after Arnold Harrison went down with a knee injury and had a very productive game and just like that I was at inside now. “

Mike Quinn: “They went to camp with four quarterbacks – Miller, Kordell, Tomczak and me. I think everyone thought I was just going in as the camp arm. I didn’t focus on that and ended up having a really good preseason and made the team as the third quarterback. It was awesome -we had a great season and I learned a lot. Tomczak took me under his wing and showed me how to be a professional.”

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