Mike Tomlin wants the Pittsburgh Steelers to be a physical football team, and that is the exact message that he sent with the team’s first padded practice.

Not only did Tomlin’s players don pads for the first time, but they put them to use.  Backs on backers may have highlighted the day, but it was the live tackling during team drills that truly set the tone for the day.

It was a particularly important day for a defense that is looking to regain its edge after a down season last year. Though it was only one practice, Dick LeBeau’s defense was aggressive and flying around the field.

There were plenty of takeaways from Monday’s practice as we finally got a chance to see the team in real football situations. Here are my observations from the first padded practice of training camp.

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