Hopefully next week will bring good news on the NFL Lockout front when oral arguments are heard in a St. Louis courtroom. In the meantime, teams across the NFL have been doing the best they can to get ready for the lockout to be lifted by conducting players-only unofficial workouts. So, how have the workouts of the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers stacked up against those held by their rivals in the AFC North? Let’s take a cursory look at what we know about the efforts of the Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The veteran-laden Steelers roster has actually not been particularly cohesive in its workout efforts. That’s not to say that they’re not hard at work, just that a large group of 20-40 has not gotten together in a single location. Ben Roethlisberger did conduct some drills at a local high school, but particularly on the defensive side of the ball, guys have been working out in separate locations. The most notable sessions going on outside of Pittsburgh are somewhere down in Florida (Orlando, I believe), where guys like James Farrior, Ike Taylor, William Gay and others have been getting after it.
Baltimore Ravens – This week marks the first time that the Ravens have gotten together as a group. Led by Derrick Mason, the Ravens will have completed three sessions by week’s end. For the first session, which I believe was on Monday, 27 Ravens showed up. Not bad.
Cleveland Browns – Colt McCoy has been diligently rounding guys up to go through some throwing and catching drills. With a new West Coast offense being installed, McCoy has made sure to put in the extra work familiarizing himself and his teammates with the new system. Great leadership and work put in by McCoy. There hasn’t been the same type of joint effort on the defensive side of the ball however. I suppose it’s harder to find meaningful drills to do for defensive players, at least not without exposing themselves to the risk of injury. But there have been no workouts or organized activities of any kind by the Browns’ defensive players.
Cincinnati Bengals – I haven’t heard as much about the Bengals offseason itenerary, but apparently they have been working out in position groups. Palmer — Jordan, not Carson — has taken the lead in rounding up guys out in California to go through some route-running exercises.
Hopefully come next week we’ll be one step closer to reading about legitimate Organized Team Activities with coaches and training staffs present.