The Pittsburgh Steelers took a flier on Dwayne Haskins this offseason. When no one else, and I mean no one, wanted Haskins after his release from Washington, it was Pittsburgh who took a no-risk chance on the former first round pick.
Since the signing, Steelers fans everywhere have wondered what to expect from Haskins. Will he be just the latest Ohio State failure at quarterback? Will he provide quality depth? Or is he actually a possible future starter when Ben Roethlisberger calls it a career?
Haskins truly is the wild card in the quarterback room, and he spoke to the media today for the first time about his brief time in Pittsburgh. During the media session, Haskins talked about how he wanted to show the Steelers front office and coaching staff he is a changed man, and player, and his mind is in the right place.
Dwayne Haskins said via zoom today coming to the Steelers he wanted to show the coaching staff, teammates and everyone that his mind is in the right place and that he loves football.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) June 17, 2021
On top of that, Mike Tomlin has spoken about Haskins and talked of just how anxious he is to get to know Haskins both on and off the field. After Haskins told media all he wanted was to feel as if he was wanted, the Steelers seem to be doing just that thus far this offseason.
Mike Tomlin is having another long talk with Dwayne Haskins after today's final mini-camp practice. Art Rooney II and Kevin Colbert also standing with the pair. https://t.co/Hsaa4qotwg— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 17, 2021
Haskins isn’t just a wild card, but is a polarizing character for the Steelers’ fan base. People either love him or hate him, there is very little in between. Haskins will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself, and those will come during training camp and the 2021 preseason. With the Steelers not taking a financial risk on Haskins, the pressure falls solely on the former first round pick to perform.
Now for some other nuggets of information coming from the third, and final, day of mandatory minicamp:
Najee helping the WRs
Najee Harris hasn’t been talking much lately, but that doesn’t mean other players haven’t been talking about him. Diontae Johnson spoke to the media Thursday, and he spoke glowingly of Harris. Not just his work ethic or conditioning level, but his ability to take pressure off the wide receivers. A running game is a powerful thing in many ways, and when a defense fears the run, they can’t bracket receivers and specific routes. The hope is the new offensive line, the new offensive coordinator and the new running back will be able to get the job done.
Diontae Johnson talking via zoom this morning said the addition of @ohthatsNajee22 takes pressure off the wide receivers and that he sees Najee is hungry out there.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) June 17, 2021
Tight End heavy offense?
There has been a lot of talk about Matt Canada’s offense this week, and rightfully so. Canada spoke to the media for the first time as the offensive coordinator, and everyone is wondering what the offense will look like. One prediction from Eric Ebron is how he feels the tight end position will take on a greater emphasis in the Canada offense. This would mean big things not just for Ebron, but also for rookie Pat Freiermuth.
Tight end Eric Ebron thinks his position will take on a greater emphasis in Matt Canada's offense.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) June 17, 2021
Let the work begin...
With minicamp officially over, Mike Tomlin spoke to his players through the media. This isn’t new, Tomlin does this regularly throughout the season. The one specific aspect of the team he wanted to see improve before training camp was the team’s conditioning. Tomlin often calls upon his players to be in the best shape possible leading into camp to prove they are game ready. Only time will tell if the players come through on their end of the bargain.
Coach Mike Tomlin said while the offseason program went well, the work really begins now. Told the players before they left minicamp today to come back well-conditioned for camp.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) June 17, 2021
Mike Tomlin and Eric Ebron (If you cannot see the clip below, click HERE)
Diontae Johnson and Dwayne Haskins (If you cannot see the clip below, click HERE)
Day 3 Live Look-In
There was no live look-in for Thursday’s practice.
Taking you behind the scenes of the Steelers punting competition at minicamp, with some absolutely horrendous camerawork. But later in practice they had a more spirited battle, one Mike Tomlin called “created adversity so guys have an opportunity to shine.” pic.twitter.com/6L3hMFe1HD— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) June 17, 2021
In the zone for the final day of minicamp pic.twitter.com/5irfzST8K4— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 17, 2021