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Pat Freiermuth Thinks Tight End Fraternity Has Helped Him Grow

Pat Freiermuth has been embraced and is now embracing talent from all sides in the tight end fraternity of the NFL.



Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth
Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 23, 2023.- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Every young player who comes into the NFL needs guidance from multiple angles. While coaches are the foremost point of that mentorship, veteran players can help those rookies and young players even more. That trickles down to the high school level, where the next generation is created. Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth has been embraced by multiple tight ends throughout the early portion of his career.

But the three main mentors that he credits are Jesse James, Mike Geisicki, and Eric Ebron. All of those guys either played with Freiermuth on the Steelers or have connections to him from their Penn State days. And now, Freiermuth is giving back to someone like Brock Bowers.

“Jesse’s great man, we talk a bunch. I go for rehab when I’m in Pittsburgh to the same guy he used and he’s close with Ty Howle and I’m close with Ty, so kind of a mutual connection,” Freiermuth said on The Pocket Podcast. “I went to Tight End U and I talked to certain guys, like (George) Kittle and (Travis) Kelce, and you know, they’re great, but they’re at the top of their game now where they operate at a different level. So for me, I’m talking to guys like Mike (Gesicki) and Jesse. (Eric) Ebron helped me when I got into Pittsburgh, he’s a great guy. I talked to (Brock) Bowers a bunch, Noah Fant, guys like that I’ve gained a relationship with throughout my career. I kind of used their experiences from watching or talking to them and implementing what they’ve learned into my game, and trying to take my game to the next level.”

Freiermuth had a tough 2023 with the Steelers, largely due to a hamstring injury that took out the entire middle portion of his season.

Freiermuth, the team’s second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, is up for a such a conversation for the first time in his career, as he is entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. He acknowledged that it’s on his radar for this offseason, but said he’s not focusing on that right now.

He missed five games with a hamstring injury, the first significant time out of the lineup in his career, and his stats tumbled on both an overall and a per-game basis.

Freiermuth finished the season with 32 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 25.7 yards per game. In 2022, he caught 63 passes for 732 yards and two touchdowns — a 45.8 yards per game average.

The downtown in performance makes for a tough evaluation when it comes to Freiermuth’s place in the NFL tight end marketplace. Most of the reasons for the Steelers overall offensive downturn, chiefly uncertainty at offensive coordinator and quarterback, are likely more to blame for Freiermuth’s lack of production than anything that he has failed to do.