NFL Wire News

Steelers see red in first OTA action


The Sports Xchange

PITTSBURGH — Head coach Mike Tomlin opened this week’s Organized Team Activities for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday with a new twist as he ordered his offense to the goal line.

It either was a nod toward the possible frequency that Pittsburgh will go for the two-point conversion or an admission that the Steelers need more work on their red-zone offense.

Based on recent history, the latter seems most appropriate.

While they ranked second in the NFL with an average of 411.1 yards per game in 2014, the Steelers were 19th in red-zone efficiency, capitalizing on drives inside the 20 with touchdowns only 51.7 percent of the time.

“It was surprising in the sense that we hadn’t put red zone in and the defense hadn’t put red zone in yet, but that’s going to be a big part of the game now,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “Teams are consciously going for two points, or at least debating it.”

Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who led the NFL with 129 receptions for 1,698 yards last season, went through all the drills Tuesday, the first day after there were multiple reports that he planned to hold out for a new contract.

Brown said there will be no holdout, now or never.

“I always planned to be here,” Brown said. “At this point, I am singularly focused to better my game and get ready.”

Brown is signed through 2017, but he and agent Drew Rosenhaus thought he outplayed the contract he signed in the summer of 2012.

“It’s not for me to discuss,” Brown, 26, said. “I will leave that to my agent. I am here to better my game and prepare for 2015.”

He will receive a $6 million salary and count $9.8 million against the salary cap this year.

Safety Mike Mitchell, who started every game in his first season after signing from Carolina as a UFA, revealed that he had groin surgery on each leg after the season.

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