As the Pittsburgh Steelers assembled together at Heinz Field for the first time of 2021 Training Camp. Since the Steelers were back on the field, we were also given the typical media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. Therefore, it’s time to look at the players mentioned by Coach Tomlin during his media time. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.
Chase Claypool & Cam Sutton
One play of note from practice on Tuesday was a battle for a pass thrown to Chase Claypool and defended by Cam Sutton. Coach Tomlin was asked his thoughts on the play between the two players.
“I just like the energy and effort. We cannot take the energy and effort for granted. Everybody wants a good day. Everybody wants a good and competitive environment, but it requires all of us to be actively engaged in the creation of that. And so those guys right there were creating that, competing the way they did for that play. We all want to be a part of a good environment, we’re all responsible for being active participants in the building of it. So, I just want to highlight that.”
Coach Tomlin was asked for his ruling on the play.
In his press conference earlier on Tuesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert commented about second-round draft pick Pat Freiermuth and how Mike Tomlin responds when he makes a play. According to Colbert, Tomlin says, “Nice catch, but can you block?” Coach Tomlin was asked about making that statement to his young tight end.
“Yeah, I’m gonna play my role. I’m going to be consistent. So don’t ask me anything glowing about him. Those of you that know me, it’s too early in the process to get that from me.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked about how Freiermuth responds when he asks the question about blocking.
“I’m not surprised by it. He’s a Penn State kid, regional dude, I’ve got a very good relationship with Coach (James) Franklin, went to his Pro Day, got a lot of exposure. I don’t think any of us are surprised by what we’re seeing from him.”
One of the Steelers free agents they acquired in the secondary is defensive back Arthur Maulet who has played 35 NFL games for three different teams in four seasons, most recently with the New York Jets. Coach Tomlin was asked about what he likes about Maulet.
“He’s got a reputation for being a rough and tumble teamer and a versatile defender. And I just think guys that show that level of versatility in two phases, you better have an interest in. He’s displaying that out here. Obviously, tomorrow will be a big day and the subsequent days after we step into stadiums and stuff like that, but that’s what his resume tells us and he’s exemplifying that.”
Zach Banner & Chuks Okorafor
One large area of concern for many Steelers fans are the starting offensive tackles going into the 2021 season. Both Zach Banner and Chuks Okorafor have not been full participants in team drills throughout the training camp. Coach Tomlin was asked if he expects to see his two tackles doing team drills before the Hall of Fame Game.
“You very well may, certainly.”
A portion of Mike Tomlin’s interview can be seen below as well as a link to the full interview on the Steelers’ YouTube channel.
"Guys were energized in this environment."@OurFordStore | Coach Tomlin on today's practice: https://t.co/7vKIVD4em0 pic.twitter.com/8jhm7KMBgv— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 27, 2021