Training camp is Kirby Wilson's favorite time of the year, and the Steelers running backs coach is thankful to have the opportunity to experience it once again with his fellow coaches and teammates at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.
Wilson, who was severely burned in a January fire at his Seven Fields home, spoke with reporters today for the first time since the fire.
"It's great to be back," Wilson said. "It's my most rewarding camp ever."
Wilson, who missed the Steelers' playoff game in Denver, coached during organized team activities and mini-camp this spring, but he spent most of his time yelling instructions at his players from a golf cart parked on the sidelines. Wilson has progressed to the point where he is jogging again and his plan is to spend time with the players on the field during camp.
"No doubt ever came in my mind that I would not be here," Wilson said. "It was just what conditioning would I be in when I got here? That was the goal in the OTAs and mini-camp -- to be smart, pace myself, learn what bothers me and what doesn't bother me. Just fix that when we got to training camp. I'm pretty much 100 percent right now. I got a little bit more, but I'm happy where I'm at."
Wilson said he will have some restrictions during camp. He will take some breaks in the shade during practice and could return to the cart if he is feeling tired. Otherwise, he is looking forward to getting back to work.
"I'll take my breaks because I want to be smart. My goal is to leave camp in the same condition that I came here -- and that's upright," he said, laughing. "Hopefully, by being smart and taking breaks here and there it will be no problem for me."
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Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1. First Published July 26, 2012 5:30 PM