Steelers coach Mike Tomlin met with the media for roughly nine minutes Wednesday, and he spent nearly all of that time talking about Ben Roethlisberger‘s return to the practice field, which happened Tuesday.
With four quarterbacks on the Steelers’ roster, Tomlin said for the purpose of this week’s organized team activities, Roethlisberger will continue to get re-acclimated by taking a large amount of repetitions, which also is the goal for backup Dennis Dixon. Tomlin indicated those reps will come at the expense of Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch.
However, Tomlin cautioned about how much meaning should be taken from Leftwich and Batch losing reps.
“You can read into it if you chose to,” Tomlin said. “But really, they’re two different, two separate agendas when you talk about OTAs and training camp, at least in my perspective in regards to this team. I’m more concerned about teaching, details and emphasizing the early development of our 2010 football team. The minute you step on the field in Latrobe (in July for training camp), you’re competing for work, you’re competing to make it, you’re competing to face the challenges of the season.”
Tomlin re-iterated that he has been keeping close contact with Roethlisberger and indicated the organization’s efforts off the field continue.
“We’re doing a lot of things with Ben in terms of dealing with this situation, and not for the sole purposes of meeting the criteria so he can participate,” Tomlin said. “More than anything, it’s about making the proper corrections and moving forward with football and with his life. That is the spirit in which we’re doing the things that we’re doing with him. We have no control of the commissioner’s judgment, or when that judgment comes down or how it comes down. We’re focusing on the things that we can control, and that’s the approach that we’re taking.”
We have yet to hear directly from Roethlisberger, whose only public comments came during a brief statement on April 12, but Tomlin did say the quarterback would meet with the media “at an appropriate time.”