As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers continue to practice for training camp at St. Vincent College on Wednesday, we were also graced with a media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. For that reason, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.
On Wednesday, the Steelers had NFL officials at their practice. Gunner Olszewski was one of the players who was seen conversing with the officials during practice. Coach Tomlin was asked what they were able to gain from the officials being there.
“You get to learn the unwritten rules of the game. There’s an official rulebook, and those are words on a page, but there’s no substitute for having these guys out here and getting the dialogue and getting their perspective on what the tipping points are. We’re having an OPI discussion, offensive pass interference, and extended elbow contact above the waist is a trigger for officials in terms of officiating that component of a play. And so, they get to hear little minutia like that that helps them play the game and play it at a professional level.”
Even though the Steelers were not in pads on Wednesday, they still ran a lot of their typical drills and ran the two minute drill at the end of practice. Coach Tomlin was asked what he liked about how Mitch Trubisky ran the two minute drill.
“He’s a veteran and he displayed that. I thought his communication was good. I thought he directed younger players and made good use of opportunities to do so, stoppages of the clock, huddle scenarios, etcetera. But that’s what you expect veteran players to do.”
Dan Moore Jr.
One of the players the Steelers hope to take a big step in 2022 is second-year tackle Dan Moore Jr. Coach Tomlin was asked what he has seen from Moore so far in his second camp.
“I think it’s reasonable for him to take a significant step. He’s a second-year guy, he’s been through this process. And not only that, but he’s got awesome experience through his first lap around the track. I think he’s been displaying that, and so it’s exciting to watch that growth continuing.”
One quarterback who is waiting to get his chance at practice is seventh-round draft pick Chris Oladokun. Coach Tomlin was asked his impressions of Oladokun and how a guy who is not getting many opportunities can distinguish himself.
“You know, when you’re “in the fourth quarterback slot,” you had better be continually working while you wait for your opportunity. This is not a patient man’s business; we’re not going to ask him to be patient. We will ask him to work while he waits. We’ve had others in the past in that scenario. I talked to [Oladokun] a lot about Joshua Dobbs, who was in a similar scenario years ago, didn’t get many opportunities, stormed on at the finish and made the roster. So, [Oladokun] has that as an example if he needs encouragement.”
With Minkah Fitzpatrick still out within a non-football injury, players like Damontae Kazee are getting more of an opportunity for training camp. Coach Tomlin was asked his evaluation of how Kazee has taken on things in the defense and the flexibility that he has shown.
“It’s ongoing. He’s done a nice job, but I think that’s a reasonable expectation given his experience in the National Football League.”
The Steelers had some differences in rotation at the quarterback position on Wednesday. Coach Tomlin was asked his thought process in rotating Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.
“We’re just thoughtfully mixing it up. Making those guys adjust, putting them with different groups, getting to watch them in different groups, and it will continue.”
Kendrick Green & Kevin Dotson
In a follow-up question to mixing it up with the quarterbacks, Kendrick Green and Kevin Dotson switching up things and left guard is also another ongoing saga. Coach Tomlin was asked how he assesses the battle between the two players compared to the quarterbacks.
“It’s very similar. It’s still too early to tell. Both guys are working well.”
Mike Tomlin’s media session can be seen HERE on the Steelers YouTube channel.