The Pittsburgh Steelers practiced again at Heinz Field on Saturday with one of three remaining practices open to the public. Since Coach Tomlin spoke to reporters following practice, 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.
After taking just about every snap with the first team offensive line since the Steelers have been in pads, Kendrick Green was not at practice on Saturday. Coach Tomlin was asked about Green not being on the field.
“He was excused by me.”
Kevin Dotson & Trai Turner
After an extraordinary performance in Thursday nights game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Kevin Dotson found himself with the first-team offensive line during Saturday’s practice. Coach Tomlin was asked if Dotson’s play had him earning first-team reps, and in his response he addressed Trai Turner not participating in practice.
“He was working with the ones. I think we gave some guys the day off. Sometimes when you give a guy the day off it gives other guys the opportunity to elevate. We gave Trai Turner a day off, and so we looked at some combination of guys. He did perform well in the game but I wouldn’t anoint him just yet.”
Joe Schobert & Devin Bush
On Saturday morning, the Pittsburgh Steelers officially announced the trade for Joe Schobert with the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Schobert being on the field but not participating in practice on Saturday, Coach Tomlin was asked about Schobert’s availability and what he brings to the team.
“Joe will be practicing tomorrow. We’re excited about having him. Productivity, when I think of Joe. He needs no endorsement from me. We’re familiar with him. Former AFC North guy, been highly productive in every circumstance that he’s been in. He’s a sideline-to-sideline tackler, he’s good in coverage, he has coverage production in terms of interceptions, he has sack production. He plays a well-rounded game and so we’re excited about infusing him into what we do.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked if having two three-down linebackers in Schobert and Devin Bush gives him options of how they can play their linebackers.
Coach Tomlin was asked another follow-up question if they had been looking for another inside linebacker since the retirement of Vince Williams or if this trade was made simply because Schobert was available.
“It was available. It presented itself to us, but it didn’t take us long to consider it because we’re highly familiar with his skillset and productivity.”
Bringing Devin Bush into the mix, Coach Tomlin was asked if Schobert and Bush will be competing for who will stay on the field when the Steelers are in their dime package.
“I’m not ready to speculate at this juncture. We’ve got some work in front of us and they’ll determine the division of labor with their quality of work, as it should be.”
Dan Moore Jr. & Chuks Okorafor
Another young offensive lineman who has been impressive so far this preseason is tackle Dan Moore Jr. Coach Tomlin was asked what kind of growth he has seen from Moore.
“Significant. He doesn’t perform like a young guy. But sometimes, particularly when you look at the circumstances that he comes from—he’s in that SEC West, played left tackle over there, and logged a bunch of starts—that’s like dog years. That experience is showing. We’re going to challenging him this week and let him play on the right side some and look at his positional versatility.”
Based on Coach Tomlin’s answer, he was asked if it would be suggested that Chuks Okorafor is for sure the left tackle.
“You can suggest that.”
As Coach Tomlin was asked another follow-up question, he continued two deflect the answer as he was asked about taking the rookie out of a position he was comfortable with.
“You can suggest that. You can suggest that.”
With another strong performance on Thursday night, Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins is becoming the darling of many Steelers’ fans. Coach Tomlin was asked what he saw in terms of growth from Haskins in Thursday’s game.
“I think Thursday is really kind of indicative of what we’ve seen out of him out here. I don’t know that I was surprised by anything that I saw on Thursday.”
A replay of Mike Tomlin’s interview can be seen at the beginning of the Steelers Live Training Camp Wrap Up below: