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Roman Wilson Reveals Why He Loves to Block



When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Roman Wilson, he earned all sorts of comparisons. He compared himself to one of Russell Wilson’s top targets, Tyler Lockett. But the comparison that Tony Pauline heard the Steelers view Wilson through is much more ambitious. According to Pauline, Wilson is viewed through a ‘Hines Ward lens’ within the Steelers organization as a tough player who wins between the numbers.

Wilson isn’t the biggest or most polished route-runner, but does play with a chip on his shoulder and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty. Wilson touched on why he loves to block during an appearance on Cam Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast at the Steelers Draft Party on Saturday.

“I feel like it’s just an extension of a passing play, you know? Wilson said of blocking. “If my running back or even my o-linemen are gonna sacrifice their body for me then I’m no better than to do that for them when they’re trying to make a play as well… It’s just something Michigan put in my head, just don’t shy away from it, it’s gonna help the team win, let’s just do it. Let’s dive into it. Let’s all be committed to it. I just feel like that’s what it comes down to.”

Wilson comments should be music to the Steelers ears, as Diontae Johnson and George Pickens both displayed a disinterest to block in the 2023 season. Steelers wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson didn’t have his contract renewed, and the issues with Johnson and Pickens likely played a big role in that decision by Mike Tomlin.

Last season, Johnson let a mental lapse and loss of focus become the signature moment of his season when he failed to react to a Jaylen Warren fumble and was fortunate his gaffe did not result in a Cincinnati Bengals defensive touchdown.

Nearly three weeks later against the Indianapolis Colts, Pickens had his own embarrassing play. That controversy came upon Pickens after a lack of effort on a Warren run that could have been a touchdown. Pickens said that he was trying to avoid a “Tank Dell situation,” referring to the Houston Texans wide receiver who broke his leg getting rolled up on near the goal line.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated in his online chat that Johnson’s influence on Pickens played a big role in him being traded to Carolina. Although, he mentioned that Johnson was leaving Pittsburgh “one way or the other.”

Perhaps Wilson’s strong desire to block will rub off on Pickens.

“And plus, I feel like it’s fun, too,” Wilson said. “Like when you get a pancake or you shed a block, it’s a different feeling than catching a pass.”