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Steelers’ top rookie Terrell Edmunds learning from his mistakes at OTAs

The rookie safety is learning from his early mistakes at offseason workouts, and Mike Tomlin is making sure he doesn’t forget.

NFL: NFL Draft Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the National Football League can be an eye-opening experience for rookies. The complex systems, bigger and faster competition and the overall pressure which comes from going from amateur status to professional status. It can be a whirlwind for newcomers.

But some things never change...like catching the football.

This is something Pittsburgh Steelers top rookie Terrell Edmunds learned the hard way during the team’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs) when he dropped two interceptions in the last day of workouts before minicamp.

For those cringing while reading the above, Mike Tomlin made sure to let the rookie know the importance of these situations.

“Coach [Mike] Tomlin came and talked to us today about that,” Edmunds told Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Those are game-changing plays we can’t leave on the field because we’re trying to be a No. 1 defense. We got to make all those picks.”

“If it’s a dropped pick, it’s not a good play for us,” Edmunds said. “It’s OK, but it’s not a big play.”

The pressure players put on themselves to make plays is likely more than anything the fans and/or media put on players, and Edmunds is just ready to play some real football. You know...with pads.

“Gonna play some real football now,” Edmunds said.

“I’m ready for that,” Edmunds continued. “I haven’t had the pads on in a while. It’s time to go out and hit somebody. All those bobble catches, you might be able to knock them out. You never know how you can mess up the timing with the shoulder pads on.”

With the rookies preparing for their first NFL training camp, Edmunds is at the point where he feels as if he isn’t a rookie anymore. Or maybe how he can’t be a rookie anymore, from a learning perspective. In fact, he realizes he has to learn the system quickly, or it will mean watching rather than playing.

“It’s all good now. There’s no more, OK, you’re a rookie. You got to step up. You’re either going to make a play or you’re not going to make a play. There’s no time to think you’re here still learning. It’s going to move on without you if you don’t learn it. You got to pick it up fast.”

Edmunds, and the Steelers’ defense, is prepared to prove the doubters wrong this year as they press forward to show the loss to the Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs was nothing more than an aberration, not the new norm.