The Pittsburgh Steelers have never been a team known for their dominating tight ends. They’ve never had a Rob Gronkowski or Tony Gonzalez type player. Sure, Heath Miller was phenomenal, but he wasn’t the athlete of those other tight ends. With that said, the Steelers are hoping their latest addition to the tight end room is going to make the group a more versatile unit.
Already with Eric Ebron on the roster, the retirement of Vance McDonald left the team with just Zach Gentry, Dax Raymond and Kevin Rader as the only tight ends on the roster. Needless to say, something had to be done. That something came in the form of Pat Freiermuth of Penn State being selected in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Freiermuth has already been through Rookie Minicamp and Organized Team Activities (OTAs), but none of those had him really interact with Ebron. During minicamp, that took place and Ebron was impressed with what he saw.
“Pat’s gonna be good, man, Pat’s gonna be pretty good,” Ebron assessed during mandatory minicamp. “It’s hard to dictate what everyone looks like in shorts and helmets, because everyone looks good. But I’m excited to see him grow as a tight end. It’s a lot of information we’re throwing at him. It’s a lot of different things he needs to know at this position.”
Sure, football in shorts isn’t a great way to dictate someone’s true potential, but Ebron sees a ton of potential within Freiermuth.
“I’m just looking forward to see him grow, man. To me, he’s just a smooth playmaker. He’s silky smooth, he doesn’t look like he’s trying too hard and he’s capable of a lot. He asks a lot of questions, which is good. He’s really easy to talk to, which is cool. I look forward to seeing him grow in this league. It’s gonna be fun to watch him.”
Of course, every offensive player who was interviewed during minicamp was asked about Matt Canada and his new offense. Ebron was excited, and hopeful, the tight ends would be more of a focus in the new offense.
“It gets me very excited,” Ebron said. “I think I’ll be featured a lot more. The tight end position, period, I feel like will be featured a lot more. Having Pat and some of the other guys we have, our tight end room is pretty strong.
“From the three days that I’ve been here, well, two, we’ve dominated. And I say that with emphasis because I feel like our room is pretty good and I feel like we should carry a lot of stress upon our room to be great every week because we’re very capable of that, especially in Canada’s offense.”
The thought of watching Freiermuth or Ebron catching passes down the seam and rumbling down the field is certainly enthralling. Then again, we’ve heard this song and dance before, and the proof is in the pudding.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.