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Mike Tomlin Challenges Roman Wilson, Quinyon Mitchell to Compete at Senior Bowl

Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson had a unique experience with Mike Tomlin that helped shape his view of what his NFL life will be like.



Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson

MOBILE, Ala. — Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson is having himself an impressive week through two days of Senior Bowl practice. He started off the season on a hot streak and seemed primed for a statistically dominant season, but as the Wolverines shifted towards more of a rushing attack, his numbers just naturally fell. But that has not discouraged the Steelers.

And before Wednesday’s practice, Wilson got a challenge from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin pulled Wilson and Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell aside, two of the most dominant players from day one of the Senior Bowl, and told them to go against each other throughout practice. They did just that, creating a highlight reel play for Wilson.

“I was coming through and Mike Tomlin pulled both of aside and told us to make sure we go against each other,” Wilson said. “We took that a little too serious. We did every single one-on-one rep together. He is very competitive and it was great going against him. As soon as he stepped up at the end of practice, I knew he was going to call me out.”

Wilson and Mitchell both have met with the Steelers multiple times at the Senior Bowl. For Wilson, he has met with them twice. Mitchell’s was an unspecified amount, but it’s clear that the team is continuing their interest from throughout the entire college football season.

“Meeting Mike Tomlin, I mean he’s a great guy,” Wilson said. “Sometimes at events like this, it’s crazy to see a guy like that come over to you. You wouldn’t think a guy like would talk to you. Then you realize you’re at this level. But he’s been awesome.”

Mitchell is impressive. In his first day at the Senior Bowl, the only way to describe his level of play was impressive. Wow, did this kid put on a show. He walked up in press coverage and played in off-man. He has both the speed to keep up with receivers down the field, but the length at the line of scrimmage to snuff them out. And he’s fluid in his transitions and turns to keep up with receivers. This was a statement day for him.

But Wilson and himself wanted to go at it because Tomlin challenged them, and they would oblige.

“He’s not just saying that because he wants to come here and watch,” Wilson said. “He’s saying that because right now he’s a DB that’s playing well, and I’m a receiver that’s playing really good. We’re just going to make each other better.”