The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially wrapped up their 2018 Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in all three phases. With the on-field portion of the workouts completed, you think back to the key story lines coming from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Of course the biggest news was either Ben Roethlisberger’s comments regarding Mason Rudolph, or the overall attendance, or lack thereof, by the ‘Killer B’s’. What wasn’t discussed much, though, outside of Rudolph, were players in the team’s rookie class.
Especially Terrell Edmunds.
The team’s first-round pick seems to keep a low profile, and that isn’t a bad thing. There’s something to be said about someone who simply puts his head down and grinds. But at the same time, fans want to hear glowing reports about the team’s prized rookie draft choice.
While Mike Tomlin spoke more about “team building” at Dave & Busters recently than he has about football throughout OTAs, he was very vocal in his praise — and criticism — of Edmunds during one of the secondary drills at Thursday’s workout.
Check out the video below, courtesy of ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
Mike Tomlin grades the performance of ‘pup’ Terrell Edmunds -- the Steelers coach praises the first-round pick’s footwork but gives his hand usage a D-minus. pic.twitter.com/8c3KX6GGot— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 7, 2018
You can hear Tomlin praising Edmunds’ footwork, but he’s not happy with his hand usage in this particular drill. Sure, it’s just one video, but Edmunds looking comfortable on the biggest stage is something worth noting. If you recall other players in their first OTAs, there are some where the stage seems too big and the lights too bright.
Not Edmunds. Tomlin clearly sees the raw potential in this player, and he’s going to do whatever it takes to get every ounce of potential out of him. I can say I’m extremely excited at the prospect of seeing No. 34 in black-and-gold making plays this preseason.
Time to get through some other news on the Steelers in their last workout:
Exotic is the name of the game...
No, I’m not talking about exotic dancers. The Steelers are wisely using this time to test out some new formations and packages with unique tweaks and twists to them.
A lot of news was made earlier in OTAs when Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt took practice repetitions on opposite sides from the OLB positions they played last season. But this news would be particularly intriguing. Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the team has been practicing a formation where Watt and Dupree are lined up on the same side.
Bud Dupree said him and fellow OLB T.J. Watt pass-rushing from the same side of the formation in a recent practice is an example of the defense experimenting with different looks in offseason work.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 7, 2018
I’m nowhere near smart enough to dissect how this style of approach would or could impact the team’s defense, but it might be a sign of things to come in the upcoming season. In other words, expect the unexpected.
The Steelers have wrapped up OTAs, and next comes mandatory minicamp. No more voluntary workouts...just mandatory workouts. These workouts are three days long, and start Tuesday June 12th. You can bet we’ll have all the latest news and notes for you on who is there, who isn’t, and what’s going down at the team’s headquarters.
Now for some content you might enjoy:
Cameron Heyward talks about how he uses OTA's to keep improving his game, his excitement for the potential of the defense, Ryan Shazier and more. pic.twitter.com/Xk7rXu2BZw— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 7, 2018
James Washington dishing on how he tries to catch up to NFL play with the Steelers in OTAs: https://t.co/q1vUBBmsGF— Jacob Klinger (@Jacob_Klinger_) June 7, 2018
Rookie James Washington goes high for a back-of-end-zone catch. pic.twitter.com/M6nJmv7sXw— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 7, 2018