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Steelers' offensive linemen throughout OTAs praised the aggressive mindset that new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is bringing to the unit. Offensive tackle Zach Banner went as far as saying that Klemm's mentality is to "come off the ball and kill people."
“It’s a culture that was recruited and put together by ‘Coach T’ this offseason, and it really shows,” Banner said via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “In saying that ‘thug mentality,’ the last thing I want people to think is we’re walking around Pittsburgh beating people up or doing dumb stuff. But at the same time, what else would you want as an offensive line unit? That’s my question. You’ve got to come off the ball and kill people, and that’s the type of mentality we need to have.”
Klemm spoke with the media today at the conclusion of the Steelers three-day mandatory minicamp, and he touched on his aggressive coaching philosophy.
"You can't stray away from it," Klemm said via Mike Prisuta of Steelers.com. "You set the tone for what it's going to be and you create an environment in a room, carry that out to the field. You're demanding of it every, single day.
"It's not that we're trying to find ourselves; this is who we're gonna be. If you're gonna live in this world that's how we're gonna live. If you can't do it, you'll be at home or you'll be on the sideline with a hat on. It's not a democracy in our room; this is what it is."
With the pads not on during OTAs and minicamp, Klemm hasn't got the chance to get a true evaluation of his group. That will all change when training camp starts in late July, however.
"Looks can be deceiving this time of the year," Klemm said via Chris Carter of DKPittsburghSports. "I want to get the pads on and see guys mix things up. Some guys are power guys who don't look as good running around with no pads on. That's when you can tell, and when the dust settles, I can say things about where guys are and are going to be, but everyone needs their fair shot."
Of the Steelers' offensive linemen, Chuks Okorafor needs to adapt the most to Klemm's physical style, as he was too passive at times last year.
"I've always thought that Chuks was such a talented individual," Klemm said. "He is so athletic. The one thing you want to see is for him to be a little more physical. He's a natural left tackle that had to adjust to playing on the right. The thing I've seen so far is that there are things he can improve on, but he's been up for the challenge."