The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field, sort of, Friday when the nine rookies, eight undrafted rookie free agents and a handful of rookie camp tryout players took to the UMPC Rooney Sports Complex for the first day of Rookie Minicamp.
Naturally, there wasn’t much news on the first day of the rookies getting acquainted with their new surroundings and teammates. Nonetheless, with the limited information put out to the public, we package some nuggets of information to give you a small taste of Steelers football.
Let’s dive right in...
First Look at Matt Canada Offense
Believe it or not, but the Matt Canada offense started to be unveiled Friday. While it was only the beginning of the process, players, and media, got their first glimpse as the new offense. Here is what some players, and the members of the Pittsburgh media who were in attendance, thought about it.
The Matt Canada offense includes “a decent amount” of pre-snap motion according to Freiermuth, who also said he’s “for sure” anticipating working with Eric Ebron in two-tight ends sets. “I’m excited to learn from him and kind of see what is tasked for us in ‘12 personnel.’” pic.twitter.com/1a3QXYYL0X— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 14, 2021
No Baby Gronk
Pat Freiermuth was in front of the media Friday, and one thing which became known to the public was his disdain for the nickname “Baby Gronk”. This was given to him during his time at Penn State for his number (87) and everyone comparing him to Rob Gronkowski. With the Steelers Freiermuth will wear No. 88, and he is hoping the Steelers’ global fan base can think of a different nickname for him. I think we all know what fans will say after his first reception, “MUUUUUUUTH!”
Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth says he hates the nickname “Baby Gronk” and pleaded that nobody call him that. Wait until his first catch and the crowd goes “Heaaaaaaath”— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 14, 2021
Freiermuth might want a new nickname, but one thing which is for certain are his capabilities in the red-zone. Most, including myself, didn’t know the crazy stat Bob Pompeani of KDKA put out on social media Friday night.
#Steelers Rookie 2nd round pick TE Pat Freiermuth Said earlier today he NEVER dropped a pass in the red zone at Penn State — He will be another big target for Ben Roethlisberger in scoring area of the field— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) May 15, 2021
Big Shoes to Fill
When the Steelers announced their rookie jersey numbers, many fans were shocked Kendrick Green got the No. 53, especially just after Maurkice Pouncey retired this offseason. While Green wore the number since high school, he also understands the magnitude of what the number means to the organization.
No. 53 at center. Third-round pick Kendrick Green wasn’t randomly issued Maurkice Pouncey’s old number. “I wore No. 53 since high school. Obviously, at Illinois I wore it, as well, so I kind of requested it. I got big shoes to fill. I’m gonna work toward that.” First steps taken. pic.twitter.com/xIHsWEVBzT— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 14, 2021
Najee Turning Heads
The Steelers’ top draft pick didn’t speak to the media, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t turn heads. Even if it was just in stature alone...
“Najee’s impressive, obviously,” second-round tight end Pat Freiermuth observed of first-round running back Najee Harris. Even a glance from afar confirmed Daniel Jeremiah’s pre-draft evaluation: “His lower half, goodness gracious.” pic.twitter.com/Ti9qxmN7lN— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 14, 2021
h u n g e r . o n . s o u t h s i d e pic.twitter.com/WgaHPdOPSg— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 14, 2021
Solid work day— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 15, 2021
The day was more spectacular than eventful, but Steelers Rookie Minicamp is nonetheless off and running. pic.twitter.com/E5llO0el2j— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 14, 2021