Steelers to being annual OTAs with plenty of questions to answer

The third phase of the NFL’s offseason conditioning program kicks off this week, and it represents the first chance for teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers to practice football in shorts.

No contact is permitted, but the Steelers can conduct 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 workouts during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

The first of six OTA sessions begins Tuesday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. The Steelers usually take advantage of the full 10 practice sessions allotted, but this year the team has decided to eliminate a week of workouts.

Mandatory minicamp, initially scheduled for June 14-16 will be held instead a week earlier, from June 7-9.

Here are some of the questions facing the Steelers when they report to work Tuesday:

Will Stephon Tuitt attend?

The biggest question on an aging defensive line is whether the youngest member of the starting trio, Stephon Tuitt, will be part of the equation after missing the 2021 season because of injury and the tragic death of his younger brother in a hit-and-run accident.

Tuitt turned 29 Monday. He was at the peak of his career before his brother’s death, recording a career-high 11 sacks in 2020.

The Steelers have indicated that Tuitt wants to return this year, the final one of his contract. His contract calls for a $9.05 million base salary. But having accumulated nearly $56 million in career earnings, Tuitt can afford to retire if he wishes.

Tuitt could decide to…

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