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Steelers News: Mike Tomlin not ready to evaluate rookies until the pads are on

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: JUL 26 Steelers Training Camp Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at the expectations of the 2020 Steelers rookies at this point of the offseason.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Mike Tomlin is still in the teaching and instruction phase with the Steelers rookies

Steelers rookies not necessarily falling behind yet... but the clock is ticking for Mike Tomlin

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The players’ names change, but Mike Tomlin gets asked the same sort of question every year during May. June and late July and early August, too. The Pittsburgh Steelers coach has little appetite or incentive to answer it, no matter how it’s phrased.

Tomlin’s longstanding policy about evaluating new players before the pads come on or any sort of game action has stood throughout his 14-season tenure as Steelers coach.

“We’re not in the evaluating stage yet,” was Tomlin’s answer when asked about how he is evaluating his rookies during the virtual rookie minicamp earlier this month.

“We’re in a teaching and instruction stage right now.”

The coronavirus pandemic-inspired unique nature of this year’s offseason only emphasizes and requires Tomlin’s outlook even more. With players not in the building for any of the stages of the NFL’s offseason program nor for rookie minicamp — and not even for organized team activities that begin this week — it is prudent to avoid making judgments about a player based on what he’s showing over FaceTime and Zoom.

“We will be in that (teaching-but-not-evaluating mode) until we get into a football environment in a training camp-like setting, and we’re playing the game,” Tomlin said. “All the things that we’re doing for them right now is preparing them for that, and so there is very little evaluating in these circumstances and that would be the same if we were working together.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • Cam Heyward talks bout playing on Thanksgiving

Thanks for the memories

By: Mike Prisuta, Steelers.com

The Steelers will be home for at the holidays this season and for that defensive tackle and defensive captain Cam Heyward is truly thankful.

“I like that we have a Thanksgiving home game,” Heyward acknowledged recently. “That should be fun.”

That the schedule commences on the road again is by now an all-too-familiar refrain, perhaps to everyone except Willie Nelson.

“One thing I don’t like, we haven’t had a season opener at home in a while,” Heyward continued. “I know they say this is made by a computer and everything but you would think your chances are a little bit better of having a home game with a computer after six years.”

The Steelers haven’t opened at home since they defeated Cleveland, 30-27, to begin the 2014 season. Since then they’ve been at New England (2015), at Washington (2016), at Cleveland (2017), at Cleveland (2018) and at New England (2019) to kick things off.

They haven’t played on Thanksgiving since they beat the Colts, 28-7, in 2016 in Indianapolis.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • The return of Ben Roethlisberger makes the Steelers a big player in the AFC

A healthy Ben Roethlisberger puts Steelers in AFC contention

By: Alexis Mansanarez, The Draft Network

Ben Roethlisberger is returning to form, which is welcomed news for the Steelers and their hopes of getting back into AFC contention.

Roethlisberger, who was sporting a quarantine beard that rivaled only Ryan Fitzpatrick and vowed not to cut it or his hair until he could “throw a legit NFL pass,” recently made headlines after he gathered teammates for drills at a local high school miles away from Heinz Field. There, Ryan Switzer, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner participated in a throwing session.

While Roethlisberger had been throwing for the past three months, this was the first time he tossed his version of an NFL-caliber pass. The results, albeit from his peers, were extremely positive.

“Man, he let it rip,” Switzer told The Athletic last week. “There was no restraint, no hesitancy, he was just out there. He has been throwing like that for a while and, in my opinion at least, getting out there on that field for the first time and throwing full-speed routes was refreshing. The control factor was taken out of it. He was out there and he was throwing. Did some off-schedule stuff. No restraints. He threw everything — across his body. Everything.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • BTSC articles you may have missed

Will Juju Smith-Schuster still be in black and gold next season?

James Conner celebrates an important anniversary

Having NFL football this fall is looking more likely

Adding an extra wildcard to the NFL playoffs makes it possible for an entire division to move into the postseason


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