It’s football in shorts.
But like I always say, football in shorts is better than no football at all.
The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 rookie minicamp got underway Friday at the Steelers UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and it was the first time anyone has seen the seven draft picks in their new threads. Saturday was Day 2, and the rookies took the field looking to carve their niche within the organization.
But the picks from the 2022 NFL Draft weren’t the only ones in attendance. The 10 Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (UDFAs) and several try-out players were there trying to prove their worth. Some were just trying to find their way onto the team’s 90-man offseason roster.
With that said, what all went down at practice Saturday? Here we put together the video for you to get a glimpse of Kenny Pickett, George Pickens and other rookies as they took the field together as a collective for the first time.
Let’s get to the video/news:
With Kenny Pickett not being interviewed following Saturday’s practice, other rookies had microphones in front of their faces for the first time as a member of the Steelers. DeMarvin Leal was one of those players, and he was asked specifically about his playing weight. According to Leal, he is up roughly 15 pounds since the NFL Scouting Combine, closing in on 300.
DeMarvin Leal said since the Combine, he’s up 15 pounds. Says he now weighs near 300 pounds.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 14, 2022
The Steelers are planning to play him anywhere from a 2i to a 5T.
When Mike Tomlin held court with the media, video can be seen towards the bottom of this article, he was asked about Leal’s weight. His response was the team is just getting to know him, and his body.
Mike Tomlin with an interesting answer when asked if DeMarvin Leal's frame has more room to put on some more weight:— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 14, 2022
"He's speculating if he thinks we want him to put on weight. We're just here getting to know him, his body, and how it works."
Here is some video of Leal practicing Saturday:
Steelers' third-round pick DeMarvin Leal, who said today he's now up near 300 lbs, working through the bags here today at Steelers rookie camp pic.twitter.com/vgAatyHVHH— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 14, 2022
Calvin Austin III
Calvin Austin has always been a smaller player, and likely one of, if not the, smallest players on his football team. That certainly will be the case with the Steelers and the NFL, but what separates him from the rest? Heart.
Calvin Austin says his heart is what's going to separate him despite size concerns:— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) May 14, 2022
"I've got heart...I'm a dawg. I'm ready for whatever competition and whoever is in front of me. When I'm on the field, I have no fear."
When Austin was asked about catching passes from Kenny Pickett, he referenced their time together at the Senior Bowl, but he knows Pickett can throw the ball.
Outside of his speed, Calvin Austin was lauded for his catch radius. The ability to make tough catches away from his body. The Steelers official Twitter account was able to give fans a glimpse of just that during Saturday’s workout.
Mike Tomlin Press Conference
Mike Tomlin addressed the media for the first time since the NFL Draft concluded, and he answered questions about minicamp thus far. Take a look and listen in the player below:
Coach Tomlin on getting to know the rookies & more: pic.twitter.com/os7qPxo06U— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 14, 2022
Rookie minicamp will wrap up on Sunday, and the Steelers then turn their attention back to Organized Team Activities (OTAs). Here is a look at some of the dates to keep an eye out in the coming weeks:
Phase Two (May 2-20): In this voluntary phase on-field workouts may include drills with strict guidelines and no contact. Coaches are permitted to be on the field during this time. All drills must be conducted at an acceptable walkthrough pace that is for instructional purposes.
Phase Three (May 23-June 17): Teams may conduct a total of 10 voluntary Organized Team Activities, OTAs, during this phase. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted. The team’s mandatory minicamp takes place during this time.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.