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Pat Freiermuth Doesn’t Think He’s Even Close to His Ceiling



Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth is looking for a bounce back year after recording just 32 receptions for 308 yards and two touchdowns last season. The Matt Canada factor and the shoddy quarterback play coupled with Freiermuth’s nagging hamstring injury all contributed to the less than stellar stats.

Freiermuth had a career-high 732 yards receiving in 2022. He also caught a career-best seven touchdown passes during his rookie season in 2021 when Ben Roethlisberger was at quarterback. Both are solid numbers.

The potential is definitely there for the Merrimac, Massachusetts native and Penn State product. Freiermuth thinks the sky’s the limit for him. He hasn’t even reached his full potential.

“I’m not even close. I don’t think so,” Freiermuth said at the first day of Steelers’ OTAs. “I think I am right where I want to be in my career. Obviously, I have to stay healthy, but I’m excited to showcase what I can do this year and do whatever’s asked of me.”

New offensive coordinator Arthur Smith could be just what Freiermuth needs at this stage of his career. Smith loves using play-action, and that could a tremendous benefit.

Freiermuth contacted Atalanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts and got nothing but positive reviews from Pitts about Smith and what he would bring to the table.

“Me and Kyle Pitts are close from college and going with each other, and obviously, pre-draft training, so I texted him and KP had nothing but good things to say about Coach Smith,” Freiermith said on Steelers Afternoon Drive. “Just being around him early on, you can tell his passion and drive to want to be great and get the offense where it should be. Everyone’s excited, and it’s been great to begin the install process and get to know the offense and I think it’s cool because we have all of these new quarterbacks and it’s cool to install an offense together. Just to kind of bounce ideas off of and really understand at a base level what coach wants.”

Despite outrage over Kyle Pitts’ lack of fantasy production, only two NFL teams targeted their tight ends more than the Atlanta Falcons last season. Russell Wilson or Justin Fields as the team’s starting quarterback should also boots Freiermuth’s production.

Freiermuth has praised Wilson this offseason for his tremendous leadership. Wilson orchestrated a workout in March in San Diego with Freiermuth and wide receivers Van Jefferson and Calvin Austin III.

“I was just down there in San Diego with him working out and throwing routes,” Freiermuth said on the Around the 412 Podcast with Zachary Smith of Steelers Now and Tyler Weeks. “He’s been great at talking to guys and starting to build that connection. He’s a great guy. You can tell the drive and determination that he has to win and come to Pittsburgh and win some playoff games for us. I think he is going to fit our culture and locker room very well.”

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.