Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's More than Just an Honor

The recent announcement that the Steelers will be one of the participants in this summer's Hall of Fame game meant more than just a trip to Canton, Ohio for the Black & Gold faithful. As the following item from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out it also means extra practice time -- no small consideration with all the changes to the coaching staff.

"The Steelers and new coach Mike Tomlin will get plenty of extra practice time with which to get acquainted this season.

The announcement that the Steelers and New Orleans Saints will open the NFL preseason Aug. 5 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, means more than just an additional preseason game for both teams.

It also means the Steelers will be allowed to open training camp a week earlier than usual. The Steelers have not officially identified their first day of training camp in Latrobe, but NFL rules allow the team to open camp two weeks before its first preseason game.

That means they likely will report to St. Vincent College the weekend of July 20-22, rather than July 27-29. The Steelers have not participated in the Hall of Fame game since they opened the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1999.

In addition, because of Tomlin, the Steelers are allowed to hold an extra minicamp this year. League rules allow teams with a new head coach an extra offseason minicamp.

Tomlin has not set a date for the minicamp, either

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