PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers closed out the opening week of OTAs, and after a slow start, this team came to impress.
The third day left plenty of impressions, which was good because outside of coach Jerry Olsavsky getting nailed with a football and barely flinching, the action was just not there.
Looking through my notes, there was a lot that stood out. It's not time to start drilling on the negative during shorts and helmets sessions, so I only focused on the good.
Here's what I got.
Steelers Second-Year OL are Tight
Last year, Dan Moore Jr. and Kendrick Green kept talking about how close they were. This year, it's so apparent these two are best friends, it's, well, awesome.
They're always next to each other (somewhat because they both play the left side of the line), but there are high fives and head butts after every single rep. Kevin Dotson probably has the upper hand in the position battle, right now. But Moore and Green give you Maurkice Pouncey, Al Villanueva vibes.
Donovan Stiner is Someone to Watch
"I love that violence." That's what you heard multiple times during individual drills from Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin - and then Jerry O - and the Brian Flores.
Stiner looks stronger, smoother and more comfortable in an NFL defense. He spent last season on the practice squad, and has a long climb to overcome the players ahead of him on the depth chart, but through the first week, he's someone to watch.
Mark Robinson Has Some Serious Speed
The Steelers have some athletic inside linebackers, but Mark Robinsons - former running back - makes Marcus Allen look slow. This guy moves, and carries the size of a linebacker. And if they mesh together, Pittsburgh found themselves someone who can make a lot of ball carries hurt on impact.
Buddy Johnson Has a Shot
Without Devin Bush to end the week, Buddy Johnson seemed like the top dog alongside Myles Jack. He was in the front of the line during drills, helped some rookies, and just had that veteran swagger.
He seemed like he knew he was a rookie with low expectations last season. Now, fully healthy from his foot injury, he appears ready to make that leap as the Steelers' third guy.
Ahkello Witherspoon Hasn't Seemed to Miss a Step
When Ahkello Witherspoon was traded to the Steelers, the first analysis I got about him was "one week he looks like a star, the next he looks like a roster cut."
At the end of last season, he looked like a star. Which was why the Steelers brought him back. But there was always that piece in the back of my mind that remembered that that take on him.
Well, through one week of OTAs, he hasn't missed a step. And, honestly, he looks more impressive.
That good week has been roughly six months. Maybe it's time to ease off that concern.
George Pickens Already Looks Like a Star
Look, the Steelers are excited about George Pickens, the fans are excited about George Pickens and the media is even excited about George Pickens. But this dude has already blown all expectations out of the water.
Chase Claypool looks like a big guy who can move better than most players. Pickens looks like he's got Diontae Johnson's route running, Calvin Austin's speed, and Claypool's size.
This guy is already a star in my head. Hopefully he doesn't prove me wrong.
Mitchell Trubisky Bounced Back
I jumped quick to say Mitchell Trubisky was having an off week at OTAs. That ended on Thursday when he came out and threw every pass to perfection.
Trubisky had really strong connections with his offense and looked like the No. 1 QB. This battle is far from over, but he's proving why he's starting at the top.
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