Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fourth training camp practice Monday, head coach Mike Tomlin took questions from the media. With another day of full contact in the books, questions were asked about performances of specific players.
Coach Tomlin surprisingly went into detail on several players, but gave a response on each of the following five players. This list isn’t to suggest these players were the only ones who contributed in a big way, but more so was who Tomlin answered questions about.
While other Steelers’ receivers have driven a lot of discussion, James Washington is quietly putting in the work to make a big jump in his second year. Not only did he have a long catch from Ben Roethlisberger on Monday, Washington caught two conversions from Mason Rudolph during the team’s “seven shots” drill.
Coach Tomlin was asked if James Washington was more comfortable with what they asked him to do this year versus last year.
“I think that could apply to any second year guy. I think that’s why we’re always really comfortable expecting a big jump in consistency and performance from all of those guys. This isn’t their first lap around the track from an assignment standpoint. They’ve got a better understand of what they’re expected to do. They’re not learning things for the first time. They’ve got a sense from a conditioning standpoint the rigors of this process so they come into it with more trained professional bodies. I think that speaks for him and Jaylen Samuels and anybody else you can talk about in that class.”
The reviews were mixed as to the success of Terrell Edmunds in his rookie season. Called in to action much earlier than anticipated, Edmunds was tied for the most total snaps on the Steelers in 2018. Praised for his conditioning and low body fat, Edmunds has come up with some nice pass breakups so far in training camp.
Coach Tomlin was asked about the benefit of Terrell Edmunds getting extensive playing time in 2018 and how it could translate to this season.
“He’s highly conditioned. I think that is the one thing that we learned about him and I think that was a unique thing for a guy in his position a year ago to be able to play the number of snaps he was able to play and have that level of availability. It was a unique thing then. It’s reasonable to expect that to be a unique springboard to him ascending continually.
After a day off on Sunday, Mark Barron was back on the field Monday and in the rotation at inside linebacker. For the time being, Barron and Vince Williams have been manning the middle initially with Devin Bush replacing them both in the “dime” package. Barron showed his willingness to throw his body around when taking down the much larger Christian Scotland-Williamson, which can be seen in the video above.
Coach Tomlin was asked about how Mark Barron is taking to his role and the rotation going on at inside linebacker.
“We gave him an off day yesterday. Today was his first day, so stay tuned.”
Mark Barron just put a HUGE hit on Christian Scotland-Williamson, who is listed at 6-9, 274 lbs.— Chase Williams WPXI (@chasepwilliams) July 29, 2019
With a guaranteed spot on the Steelers’ practice squad, Christian Scotland-Williamson will have to show something extra-special to have a shot at the 53-man roster. Still learning the game he only began playing just over a year ago, Scotland-Williamson should stay focused on an even bigger push in the 2020 season.
Coach Tomlin was asked about Christian Scotland-Williamson’s transition from London to playing in the NFL
“This is his second training camp with us and you see a different level of preparedness. Not only in terms of understanding of the game of football, but the conditioning relative to his position. He’s much more prepared, and I think it’s reasonable to expect a jump in performance. I know that we’ve seen a significant jump in performance to this point, but he’ll have many more opportunities to continue to prove that.”
Many people were unsure of Trevor Wood’s role with the Steelers when he was signed as an undrafted free agent this past offseason. Listed as both a long snapper and tight end, Wood has been making a name for himself as the latter so far in training camp. Not only did he run over safety Marcus Allen on Monday, he also caught a conversion from Mason Rudolph in “seven shots.”
Coach Tomlin was asked if Trevor Wood is able to compete as a long snapper.
“We haven’t gotten into the ‘B jobs’ yet. He may be working it on the side, but we’re not looking yet. In this first week, we’re just trying to get our feet under us with our ‘A jobs.’”
Mike Tomlin’s full media session can be seen here: