By Matt Popchock

LATROBE, Pa. (93-7 THE FAN) — The Steelers haven’t been to the playoffs since they were Tebowed out of the 2011 tournament. The Browns haven’t been there since the ’02 squad rallied to beat them in one of the most memorable Wild Card games of the century. So what did the Cleveland press take from its visit to Steelers training camp?

Browns reporter Tom Reed of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer took notice of the full-contact practices employed by head coach Mike Tomlin in today’s increasingly sensitive pro football climate. The Steelers went full-contact six of seven days last week.

Like everybody else, he also took notice of former Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, who, so far, has made a superb first impression on the Steelers in his first NFL camp.

“Although the Steelers finished first in total defense a season ago, they haven’t been generating the big plays that were a staple of their Super Bowl runs,” Reed writes. “Jones wants to restore the intimidation factor which has waned through injury-filled seasons for Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu. Perhaps the full-contact periods will be a step in that direction.”

“You had better be ready to go, because no one wants grass stains on their back,” defensive lineman Brett Keisel told the newspaper. “You only have so much time to evaluate young guys, and the only way to truly do that is at full speed.”

So, under the approving eye of Tomlin, and with mixed emotions from GM Kevin Colbert, the Steelers have carried on with their unconventionally intense exercises at Chuck Noll Field–in a unique way, honoring a famous line uttered by “The Emperor” when asked about the intense nature of his practices:

“Last time I checked, you play football in pads.”

Click here to read the full story by Reed.

While the Browns are already kicking off their preseason against the visiting St. Louis Rams, the Steelers open theirs on Saturday against the New York Giants at Heinz Field, a game that can be seen on KDKA-TV at 7:30.


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