Mike Tomlin "not overly concerned" by Cameron Heyward missing OTAs

Veteran defensive lineman Cameron Heyward is not with the Steelers at their organized team activities because he's negotiating with the club for a new contract and the absence isn't causing head coach Mike Tomlin to lose any sleep.

Tomlin said on Tuesday that it is "probably an easier day for me with him not being here" because Heyward's absence allows younger players to get more reps that the coaching staff can use to evaluate them. Tomlin said that there's regular communication between him and Heyward, which is another reason why he isn't sweating a May absence.

“I’m not overly concerned, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Cam is a guy with over 10,000-plus career snaps. I know Cam very well. We’ve shared a lot of experiences over the years. He and I talk often. As a matter of fact, we talked twice yesterday. That is not an irregular thing. It’s what we always do. We talk about not only where he is and what’s going on with him, but where this team is. As a leader, he needs information in that regard.”

Heyward has plenty of company around the league when it comes to experienced players opting not to take part in voluntary work. Should his absence extend into mandatory minicamp and/or training camp, the Steelers might sing a different tune but it's not surprising that Tomlin's reaction to the current state of affairs is a muted one.