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NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

5 Things We’ve Learned From Pittsburgh Steelers’ Early OTAs

5 Things We've Learned From Pittsburgh Steelers' Early OTAs

Lawrence Timmons
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers' 2014 OTAs are well underway as Mike Tomlin and company look to return the franchise to its winning ways after falling short of the postseason in back-to-back seasons. Here are five revelations about this year's club that have been brought to light thus far.

5. Steve McLendon is Much Bigger

Steve McLendon
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

5. Steve McLendon is Much Bigger

Steve McLendon
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports, nose tackle Steve McLendon has put on as much as 17 pounds this offseason in an effort to become even more stout than he already was against the run. McLendon was Pro Football Focus' No. 25 most productive run defender among interior defensive linemen in 2013. Cracking the top 15 is perhaps a realistic aim in 2014.

4. Markus Wheaton Likely Starter Opposite Antonio Brown

Markus Wheaton
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

4. Markus Wheaton Likely Starter Opposite Antonio Brown

Markus Wheaton
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Any doubt about Markus Wheaton's prospects of starting at receiver opposite star playmaker Antonio Brown have been put to rest during OTAs. Wheaton has been the starter, ahead of fourth-round pick Martavis Bryant. Bryant, a Clemson product, has impressive tools, but is likely too raw to push Wheaton out of a starting job in 2014.

3. Lawrence Timmons is on the Move

Lawrence Timmons
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

3. Lawrence Timmons is on the Move

Lawrence Timmons
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence Timmons, already in the midst of a move from "Mack" to "Buck" linebacker, is expected to garner edge-rushing opportunities this fall. His versatility should be put to good use while his experience and leadership will come in handy if first-round pick Ryan Shazier struggles early on.

2. Shamarko Thomas Still Has Ways to Go

Shamarko Thomas
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Shamarko Thomas Still Has Ways to Go

Shamarko Thomas
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There have been high hopes for 2013 fourth-round pick Shamarko Thomas in Pittsburgh. However, despite Troy Polamalu's absence from OTAs, Thomas continues to work as a second-unit safety. At best, he's likely the club's fourth safety at this juncture, behind Polamalu, Mike Mitchell and Will Allen.

1. More No-Huddle Offense on Horizon

Ben Roethlisberger
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1. More No-Huddle Offense on Horizon

Ben Roethlsiberger
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently conceded that the Steelers are planning on running more no-huddle offense in 2014. The offense was more effective down the stretch last season after offensive coordinator Todd Haley employed more of a hurry-up approach. If that success can carry over, expect more yards and points from Pittsburgh.