Day 2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie minicamp is in the books, and although the news coming out of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex might be a bit exaggerated, this was the first time these young athletes donned the black and gold.
However, before we get into any news from the day, it should be noted that everything happening in Pittsburgh this weekend should be taken with a grain of salt. These players aren’t going up against the likes of Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison, but just matching up with other rookies equally desperate to make an impression.
Is there nothing to draw from the rookie minicamp? I wouldn’t go that far. For example, a player’s accuracy throwing the football would certainly be notable, but the majority of the drills and results shouldn't be considered significant until the rest of the 90-man offseason roster arrives in the Steel City.
Let’s get to the news . . .
Watt speaks to media
T.J. Watt faced the media for the first time since being introduced as the team’s top draft pick following the 2017 NFL Draft, and it seems as if he is getting acclimated to Pittsburgh, and the NFL game.
“I’m assimilating pretty well just because a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing at Wisconsin,” Watt told Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times. “Just learning terminologies and things like that and coming out here and doing walk-throughs and just taking as many mental reps as you can when you’re not out the on the field. I think I’m doing a good job. Obviously, a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part, I think I’m playing faster each and every practice.”
“I just feel like I put in a lot of work,” Watt said. “It does come naturally to me a lot, but I do put in a lot of work in film. I’ll go back after meetings and study a lot of tape and a lot of the playbook to play fast. You have to come out here and play fast. You don’t have room to make a lot of mistakes.”
Watt, although showing his pedigree and family names early in minicamp, realizes just who is above him on the team’s depth chart. None other than the ageless wonder James Harrison.
“Obviously, anytime you’re behind a guy who’s been in the league for this many years and is a workhorse year in and year out, it’s awesome to learn from,” Watt said. “And, obviously, I’ve had (older brother and Houston Texans star J.J. Watt) to learn from a lot, but it’s good to get a new perspective in James Harrison.”
Pair of One-Handed INTs
Two Pittsburgh draft picks made nice one-handed interceptions during the session Saturday. One by first round pick T.J. Watt and another by 5th round pick Brian Allen.
That's 2 days, 2 one-handed interceptions from the Steelers defensive draft picks https://t.co/fRWWuAWNPI— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 13, 2017
Always nice to see defensive players showing the ability to hold onto the football. The team could use some more interceptions in 2017 to give the team’s lethal offense more possessions.
Video and Pictures
Steelers' rookie minicamp, Day Two: T.J. Watt navigating the bags. pic.twitter.com/OCA8FJJ35m— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 13, 2017
Undrafted rookie OL Ethan Cooper will get a long look from the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/XYWyFuUnhz— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 13, 2017
Keion Adams has opened some eyes coming off the edge. pic.twitter.com/jLCF9uVAOf— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 13, 2017
Mike Tomlin and CB Brian Allen getting a pre-snap read. pic.twitter.com/ZtKYD8pgw5— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 13, 2017
Sixth round pick Colin Holba honing his craft pic.twitter.com/4Ws25FI5u2— Chris Bradford (@BCTBradford) May 13, 2017