Tomlin says Sweed, Mendenhall talks going well
Whatever concerns Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has going into training camp, injuries and the fact that the team's first- and second-round draft picks remain unsigned apparently aren't among them.
Tomlin said at a news conference today that he doesn't expect first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall or second-round selection Limas Sweed to miss any practice over their contract situation.
The two, he said, are expected to sign with the Steelers before Sunday when players are required to report to training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.
"We don't anticipate any of these guys having hold ups as far as participating," Tomlin said today at the Steelers' South Side facility.
He said the same thing about several veteran players who worked through injuries during the offseason, most notably strong safety Troy Polamalu and running back Willie Parker.
Polamalu, who was plagued by knee problems last season, skipped the optional offseason practices so he could train in southern California.
Tomlin said he has spoken to Polamalu over the phone and expects the perennial Pro Bowler to be 100 percent for the start of camp.
Parker, he said, will also be at full speed even though interest the Steelers recently showed in running back Kevin Jones fueled speculation that the team has concerns about Parker's right leg.
When asked if Parker coming back from a broken leg has anything to do with the Steelers' interest in Jones, Tomlin said, "Not at all."
Some players will be limited at the start of camp because of minor injuries, Tomlin said, but he said the team is in good shape from a health standpoint.
"Right now it looks like everybody is going to be ready to go at training camp."