It’s back by popular demand! The return of looking at the players mentioned in Mike Tomlin’s press conferences carries on as the team finished up their fist practice in full gear on Monday. As is usually the case, these players are not always ones Tomlin brought up himself but are specifically players about whom Tomlin was asked questions. In this particular installment, Coach Tomlin took the liberty to bring up only one player who he wasn’t specifically asked a question.
One of the new additions to the Steelers roster via free agency in 2020 is new tight end Eric Ebron. Coach Tomlin was asked about the energy he saw out of the tight ends on the first day, especially from Ebron.
“We have some new guys at their position and that merits some attention. The get-to-know, not only in terms of their skillset, but how the learning process is going for them. Excited about the addition of Eric Ebron, but what you witnessed is just daily habits from me. The building of habits and letting your pet peeves be known. Letting guys know what drills are part of individual period that are important to us and to me. And so, I’m routinely watching the tight ends when they are getting their sled work because I want to present that consistency to them because I want them to know how important that skillset is.”
Anthony McFarland Jr. & Alex Highsmith
One of the most highly anticipated drills in training camp is the infamous “backs on backers.” When asked about having Anthony McFarland taking multiples reps, Coach Tomlin talked about the importance of younger players to get accustomed to the drill, particularly Alex Highsmith on the defensive side.
“I just want to see them acclimate to the environment. It’s an NFL competition period and it has that level of intensity, that level of talent ,and particularly those guys that are new to ball at this level, it is a very of adjustment. And that period of adjustment requires physical reps. So younger guys like McFarland we’re going to want to see. The same thing on the other side of the ball. You might have seen an unusual number of reps from from Alex Highsmith. We realize that reps is the platform for learning. So they going to get reps and it’s their job to adjust and to show rapid improvement.”
Tyson Alualu & Daniel McCullers
The final question asked of Mike Tomlin on Monday was about the competition at nose tackle. Coach Tomlin was asked about what he saw from Tyson Alualu and Dan McCullers the first day in pads.
“Much too early for me to sort out the nose tackle and the right tackle things. I know that’s going to be questions that you guys are going to have daily, but we just got started today. I’m sure we are going to gain clarity in that regard. Both guys showed up in great physical condition, and that’s what is important. It’ll provide some clarity as we continue to roll that ball out there and play football.”
Mike Tomlin’s interview can be seen here: