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Pat Freiermuth Vows to Become Better Blocker in Year 2



Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth

PITTSBURGH — Pat Freiermuth’s rookie season was one of the most productive rookie seasons at tight end in some time. However, that does not mean that Freiermuth is satisfied with what he put out on tape. While as a receiver and a red zone threat Freiermuth was excellent, he did have a tell that he let teams in on. That was the fact that when Zach Gentry came into the game, it was almost always some sort of run play.

Freiermuth was not good enough as an in-line blocker in 2021 to be a versatile blocker from multiple fronts. Once teams realized that, they keyed in on Gentry and Freiermuth’s alignment. It was one of the more minor problems with the run game, but it did not help a rushing attack that struggled mightily.

“Specifically last year, I was doing a lot of the split flows,” Freiermuth said. “When I did all of that kinda stuff, teams would key in on that.”

The key for Freiermuth is not just improving one area, but everything. Freiermuth has to use his hands much better, but he also had to get stronger. It was an offseason long project that Freiermuth put his hard work and effort into at every step. Now, Freiermuth wants to be a versatile blocker who can run whatever play the Steelers want him to run. The key for defenses can no longer be the tight-end personnel.

“This year I have to be able to be at the point of attack on outside zone, inside zone, and make sure that teams don’t key in on Zach going in where he’s going to be the point blocker and I’m off,” Freiermuth said. “So, I want to make sure we can switch it up.”

That is the one area of his game that Freiermuth is hoping to take a leap in. The mentorship of Heath Miller is helping him along the way to that goal. Miller’s brain is one that Freiermuth hopes to pick from in continued fashion in his second year. The recent Hall of Honor inductee is open to giving anything he can back to Freiermuth.

Anything I can pick from his brain is obviously useful,” Freiermuth said. “He’s been a great mentor in my early career. I’ll look to him more when going through my career.”

Whether Freiermuth takes that leap or not will depend upon the moving parts and his progression in all of those areas. On Sunday against the Lions, it could be a big chance for Freiermuth to show off his growth in that area.


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