Not Starting From Scratch After All

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger revealed on Monday afternoon the Steelers have held under-the-radar, players-only workouts as an offense during the lockout.

"I've organized quite a few," Roethlisberger said at his summer camp for kids at Seneca Valley High School. "I just don't tell anybody, unlike those other teams.

"We keep it quiet and we go about our business."

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said three such sessions were held.

Roethlisberger said "quite a few" constituted more than 10 workouts at an undisclosed location, and that the time has been well spent.

"We've gotten together as an offense and we've done some really good things," Roethlisberger said. "We had a lot of guys there so I've gotten to get the words, the verbiage, the huddle stuff, so it's good that we've gotten a little leg up.

"Some were real serious. Some were kind of fun, more team-building stuff. We did a little bit of everything."

Offensive linemen Trai Essex and Willie Colon attended Monday's camp, as did Sanders.

They, too, appreciated the Steelers getting together as an offense.

"A lot of it is just running plays, doing mechanics work, stuff that you need to do with your fellow linemen," Colon said. "Everything's been good so far. Whenever we get the call we want to be ready.

"The computer starts firing back up. You start to remember stuff that maybe you forget this time of year. And it's good to see the guys, a camaraderie thing."

Added Essex: "It's just like an OTA without the shells or the pads. We go through drill work. We went through plays that we ran last year and just worked on technique.

"It puts you into a routine because usually around this time of year we're doing some type of football stuff. Especially as a line you want to be able to go through footwork and be on the same chemistry. This helps, especially with all this lockout stuff going on."

Sanders has had two foot surgeries since Super Bowl XLV and was grateful for any work he could get.

"Ben scheduled them," Sanders said. "We had the receivers, a couple running backs and Heath Miller and the tight ends came out also. The first time it was just receivers. The second time it was the receivers, the linemen, the whole nine yards.

"It's always good to go back over the playbook. It's another thing to be in the huddle with Ben and understand the whole concept of it. It makes you better."

Other subjects broached on Monday included:

Roethlisberger on how the lockout will affect the Steelers:

--"We have the pieces in place. We just need backup guys. That's why I think we are fortunate during this situation because we have guys in place. It's not like we need a starting wide receiver to learn the offense or a starting center. We have those things. That does help us a little bit."

Roethlisberger on if he's come to grips with losing Super Bowl XLV:

--"Well, yeah, it stinks. You sit there and say you get over it but you really don't. I don't think you really get over it unless you get a chance to get back and win it, because you're always going to remember your last one. It's something you try to forget but every day it burns at you."

Roethlisberger on what he's done in response to the loss to the Packers:

--"Every day I wake up and I look at that Super Bowl thing that's under my mirror in my bathroom, the name tag from the locker, ‘Ben Roethlisberger Super Bowl XLV,' and it sits under my mirror so I see it every day. I threw almost everything else away from that Super Bowl except a few things I have to look at every day."

Sanders on the lockout:

--"I don't know what an NFL offseason is like so for me this is the norm. Some teams have taken a step back, but I firmly believe us as the Steelers, we have a veteran team so it will all work out."

Sanders on losing the Super Bowl:

--"It still hurts me. First of all we lost and second of all I got hurt and broke my foot, and that was the biggest game of my life. Ever since then I've been working hard because I have to know what it takes. I have to get back to the Super Bowl and win it all. I gotta know what that feeling is like. I still envision walking off that field and seeing all the confetti falling and the Green Bay Packers celebrating. And I told myself, ‘Some day that's gonna be me and I'm gonna make it happen.'"


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