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Steelers

Tomlin wants team's rookies to be flexible

| Saturday, May 5, 2012, 5:48 p.m.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had first-round pick David DeCastro at right guard and second-round pick Mike Adams at left tackle during the first two days of rookie minicamp.

Tomlin said Saturday that not much should be read into where some of the high draft choices are initially slotted.

“We value the concept of position flexibility,” Tomlin said. “You have to start somewhere. These guys who are going to be viable candidates, they are going to have more than one skill set, and of course, we will get to a point where we will see who can do multiple things.”

Tomlin wants the rookies to be comfortable with their position during rookie minicamp. That's why he had yet to move players into a position they are unfamiliar with.

“DeCastro is a right guard at Stanford, and that's where he starts here and the same can be said about Mike Adams. He was a left tackle at Ohio State, and that's where he begins here,” Tomlin said.

One day at a time

Toney Clemons is still adjusting to receiver life in the NFL, but the Valley graduate feels that the first two days of rookie minicamp went well for him.

“I am learning it slowly,” Clemons said. “I haven't mastered it by any means, but I am learning it and starting to transition. I am not there yet. I have a long way to go. Light years to go.”

Talking the talk

It is debatable as to whether Chris Rainey is the fastest player on the roster, but he sure ranks close to the top of the being the most quotable Steeler.

Rainey on how a Penn State defender caught him from behind in the 2011 Outback Bowl: “I was feeling lazy after halftime, that's why.”

Rainey on whom he compares himself to in the NFL: “Nobody but Chris Rainey. I like (Darren) Sproles, but I still like myself.”

Rainey on how he thought he did the first two days of rookie camp: “I think I did great. I just have to keep it up. I have mad comfort in myself and got a lot of talent.”

Learning curve

Conner Dixon quickly found out that coaching in the NFL is a little different than it was while he was at South Park and Duquesne.

Steelers receivers coach Scottie Montgomery did not take well to a mistake Dixon made during morning practice yesterday, and he let the rookie know it by telling him to get out of his face.

“I've learned that's how he is, and I've learned that pretty fast,” Dixon said.

“I was asking something about a route concept. I don't even know if I did it wrong. I think I did it right. The thing I did before that, I know I did wrong.”

That's a wrap

Rookie minicamp wraps up today. The Steelers won't be back on the field until voluntary OTAs start May 22. Mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 12-14.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can reached be reached at mkaboly@tribweb.com

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