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stillers4me
06-06-2010, 08:41 PM
By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
Posted 3 hours ago


As the OTA session ended, the majority of players made their way into the weight room, ready for cardio before finishing their day.

But Aaron Smith led a group of defensive linemen to the blocking sleds, looking to get just a little more work in before packing it in.

He was the first guy walking over there, said fellow defensive end Brett Keisel. He is our leader.

A leader who was sorely missed last year, sidelined after the fifth game of the season with a torn rotator cuff. But Smith is back, getting on the field earlier than many thought and taking part in the OTAs.

I still have a ways to go but I am starting to get back in the flow of things, getting back into football, said Smith.

For veterans OTAs are normally a necessary evil, a warm-up for training camp when things really get down to business. But for Smith its a whole different ball game this year.

Its fun, Smith admitted. You really appreciate things when things are taken away from you and you dont have the opportunity to do them. I really am enjoying this, coming out here and running around, being able to compete and have fun with the guys.

Smith is taking advantage of the pace at OTAs, which are in shorts, no pads, no hitting, to work his way back into the swing of things before training camp rolls around.

Its an opportunity for me to get my skills back to where I want them to be and to get back to being comfortable out there on the field, said Smith. I consider it a rehab, re-learning process right now. It will be nice because when I get to camp I will have already gone through all of this and be ready to go. Its nicer right now to be doing this because everybody is not trying to kill one another. You get a chance to test it out when you want to test it out and you can protect it when you want.

Smith wasted no time getting on the road to recovery, starting on his rehab the minute he was given the green light by the teams athletic training staff. But what was tougher was the mental part of it.

Its hard to watch your teammates go out there and play games and you not be able to contribute and help out in any way, said Smith. Its hard to do and hard to watch. Its more mental than physical. The physical part you can work through. The mental part is where you have to fight. That was the hardest part. You dont want to get too down, or too upset. You have to fight all of those bad thoughts in your head.

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Back-in-the-flow/ec201c5b-fcb9-4a7f-9419-5d5e4cf974c6

HometownGal
06-06-2010, 08:53 PM
Great read stillers - thanks! :tea:

I know I'm not the only one who missed Aaron last season and is thrilled that he will be back to anchoring the line this season :thumbsup:. I'm tickled pink that he is working hard to get himself ready for the season and seems to have recovered very well. :clap2: We need ya big guy!

NEPAsteeler
06-06-2010, 09:01 PM
I agree. We need him back healthy in the line-up. We definitely missed him last year!

Chidi29
06-06-2010, 09:05 PM
I hope Smith fully recovers, but I gotta admit that I have my doubts. He's in his mid-30s, has had two right arm injuries in the past couple years (Torn right biceps in 2007 and the rotator cuff, very serious, last year) and is playing at such a physically demanding position where you're goal is to run into the tackle or guard in order to free up the linebackers. Your body can only take so much before you begin the break down and you end up being a different, a less effective, player.

Devilsdancefloor
06-06-2010, 10:19 PM
sounds like he is ready to play i know i am looking forward to seeing him in uniform and not sweats!

Galax Steeler
06-07-2010, 04:07 AM
It will be nice to get all of our guys back healthy and get back to the Steelers of old.

solardave
06-07-2010, 05:09 PM
Probably the most underrated lineman in the NFL. A true Steeler. I love the guy.

The Duke
06-08-2010, 11:31 AM
If Hood's ready to play he might as well split some time with Smith and make him WAY fresher for the postseason

Glad he's back

steelpride12
06-08-2010, 12:34 PM
Oh boy having Smith back anchoring our defense is going to be a huge plus again! I know he is aging and it seems injury is becoming a habit, but if he can keep healthy he will be a force to recon with indeed. He is one of the most underrated players on this team and in the league in his position and him alone makes the world of difference.

SteelerStrength
06-08-2010, 02:07 PM
Great read stillers - thanks! :tea:

I know I'm not the only one who missed Aaron last season and is thrilled that he will be back to anchoring the line this season :thumbsup:. I'm tickled pink that he is working hard to get himself ready for the season and seems to have recovered very well. :clap2: We need ya big guy!

We all seriously missed him! It will be damn assuring to see him in uniform again!