Tomlin Not Dismayed By Injuries

Steelers placed five players -- including starter Maurkice Pouncey -- on the PUP list to start camp.

LATROBE -- Mike Tomlin was in such a good mood on the first day of training camp that the Pittsburgh Steelers' coach barely gave much thought to the five injured players he had to put on the PUP list.

Placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Saturday were QB Bruce Gradkowski (right shoulder), OT Mike Adams (back), OLB Shawn Lemon (Achilles strain), C Maurkice Pouncey (right foot sprain) and rookie CB Senquez Golson (shoulder).

Pouncey is the only first-teamer among the group and Tomlin called his center's injury "very minor, maybe a couple days."

The most serious injury appears to belong to Adams, the third offensive tackle on a team that has no one else with game experience behind the starters. Adams underwent back surgery earlier in the week and will need four weeks to rehabilitate before attempting to get back on the field.

"It's been something that he's been dealing with off and on," Tomlin said. "We got it evaluated. We decided to put it behind us. He's been dealing with it off and on really the majority of the offseason."

Gradkowski, Ben Roethlisberger's backup, missed most of the spring, but Tomlin doesn't feel it's serious. "We're excercising some precaution," Tomlin said. "He's a veteran guy. We're going to make sure that's in our rearview (mirror) before we proceed. He experienced some discomfort in training. We'll get a good look at it and get it taken care of. When he's ready to go, we'll go."

Golson's injury may be the most disappointing to a team that needs help on a pass defense that ranked 27th last season and lost Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Brice McCain. The Steelers drafted Golson in the second round. Tomlin was asked how long he expects Golson to miss.

"We'll see," Tomlin said. "He's not good enough to go."

Overall, Tomlin was pleased with how his team performed in the late-afternoon conditioning run.

"I like the overall conditioning and readiness of the group," he said. "It begins there for us. Physical conditioning will be a point of departure for us. We spent a lot of time talking about it and it's good those guys have respected it from a preparation standpoint so we can push forward."


Earlier in the day the Steelers announced the extension of General Manager Kevin Colbert for two years, which should keep him with the team through the 2018 draft.

Tomlin, of course, was extended through the 2018 season earlier in the week, and if both complete the deal it would make 12 drafts together for the two. Obviously the Steelers like both men, so Tomlin was asked what makes he and Colbert so effective. Tomlin responded with a burst of laughter.

"You know," Tomlin said before pausing, "I think we're singularly focused. I think we're similarly focused in that we don't care who gets the credit. We don't care where great ideas come from. We've got a job to do. We appreciate input. We work together. He's a good man to work with."


Tomlin said he hasn't heard any update about the appeal process of running back Le'Veon Bell, who's hoping the NFL lessens his three-game suspension to open the season. Tomlin was asked how he'll deal with Bell's camp routine.

"I'll treat him like I treat everyone else that's in the position he's in," Tomlin said. "He's a first-team tailback. He's going to run with that group. That's not going to affect how we approach training."

The Steelers signed 10-year veteran DeAngelo Williams to replace Bell in those games and to then become his primary backup throughout the season.

Will Williams need a lot of reps this camp?

"We'll see," Tomlin said. "I'm getting to know him. I know he's been around a long time but not been around with me. I've challenged him in some ways that are probably a little bit uncomfortable for a 10-year guy, but he takes it in good spirit. I like the condition that he showed up in. It's going to be fun to get to know him."


This is the Steelers' 50th training camp at St. Vincent College, and Tomlin explained the campus' appeal.

"You hear a lot about why teams stay at their headquarters for camp and why some go away," he said. "We've got an awesome relationship here. We have the comforts of home here. That's something that 50 years gives you. It's very obvious why some teams stay home, because of the comforts that it provides. Well, you know, we've got such a good long-standing relationship with St. Vincent that we experience that while at the same time we get away and experience some of the things that seclusion provides you. It's the best of both worlds for me. Obviously I've got a great deal of respect for this. Fifty years, I'm glad to be a part of it and enjoy time spent up here."

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