And so it continues! Looking at the players mentioned in Mike Tomlin’s press conferences carries on as the team returned to Heinz Field for practice on Thursday. 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. Coach Tomlin was asked a number of questions about events going on in our country, but these responses are those specifically dealing with players
The Steelers released an inside linebacker on Thursday leaving them with four on the current 80-man roster. When Coach Tomlin was asked about if he was set at the position, he brought up the Steelers’ third-year safety.
“We’re far from it. We’re continuing to expose ourselves to new people and expand the potential of others. We played Marcus Allen some at linebacker. He’s a guy that shows some position flexibility. He’s playing strong safety and some inside linebacker. So that really kind of fortifies our depths in that area when, from a perception standpoint, we might be running thin.”
Coach Tomlin was asked a follow up question about if he has seen enough from Allen in camp playing at linebacker to be comfortable with him filling in at that position.
“I have. And it goes beyond just specifically that position. I think he’s shown understanding in terms of how he’s communicating, whether it’s at linebacker a safety. His pre-snap communication skills, the way that he adjusts, shows growth and development in terms of our overall scheme and that allows him to display the position flexibility. Marcus has always had the physical skills to to do both jobs, but intellectual skills, the overall understanding of the big picture, allows those things and those skills to come out in a football way now.”
Earlier on Thursday, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner mentioned fullback Derek Watt has not been participating in everything at practice, Coach Tomlin was asked if Watt has been limited and what they need to do to get him back.
“Our target is opening weekend for him, so we have been thoughtful about his process. He is a guy that is coming off of a surgery. He is getting in-helmet perspective on work every day he is in uniform. We are just limiting some of the things that he does in an effort to make sure we get that daily exposure to the process. We are thoughtfully revving up his participation and it is going to increase as the days go by.”
Jayrone Elliott, Liam McCullough,& Kameron Canaday
The Steelers added two players to their 80-man roster on Thursday in outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott and long snapper Liam McCullough. Coach Tomlin was asked why he felt the need to bring in those two players and in his response he discussed the status of Kam Canaday.
“Kam Canaday has an injury that can be described as day-to-day. We wanted to continue with our intense special teams work so we brought someone else in that was capable. That was an opportunity for us to get some exposure there and see what his skillset is. We were really impressed with him in the workout, so we are excited about having him on board and having him put his hand on the pile and see where that leads us. We have some experience with Jayrone. Jayrone has been around us and been able to put his hand in the pile in the past. He was available. We brought him in and checked his overall readiness to see if he could be apart of our process here in 2020.”
Mike Tomlin’s interview can be seen here: