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Steelers First Round Pick Troy Fautanu Soaks in First Team Reps

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie offensive tackle Troy Fautanu took a leap up on Tuesday during the second week of OTAs for the team.



Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Troy Fatuanu at rookie minicamp, Friday, May 11, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — One day into the second week of OTAs, and it’s already time to see if Troy Fautanu can work with the first team. It was confirmed that the Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick got some reps with the first team on Tuesday, a first for the Washington product.

Fautanu is getting help from all around, whether Dan Moore Jr., Broderick Jones, Isaac Seumalo, or even second-year tackle Spencer Anderson. They have unique experiences that can help Fautanu in his game. While Seumalo’s more reserved nature leaves the coaches to do most of the work while he fills in the rest, Fautanu has made sure to get as much out of Seumalo as he could. The same goes for everyone else around that room. Pittsburgh has embraced Fautanu’s growth early in his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu, Broderick Jones

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackles Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu during OTAs at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on May 23, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“I think he gets coached so much I try to help where I can,” Seumalo said of Fautanu. “I think these rookies to a certain degree want to find their own keep. So, I’ll help here and there, but it’s been great. You know, having him here, he will help our team a lot.”

Moore has already stepped up to help Fautanu, mentoring him for thirty minutes after practice each day. Even the defensive players have taken note of Fautanu’s natural gifts. Breiden Fehoko has seen a lot of tackles come through the NFL, but not many are quite the athlete that Fautanu is right out of his stance.

With Arthur Smith set to run so wide zone this upcoming season, Fautanu’s athleticism in space will be a massive boon, no matter which side he starts on from the jump.

“He’s quiet, just like all rookies,” Fehoko said. “They’re still evolving into what they are and coming out of their shell. Just how he is and his whole workload in college at Washington, what he was able do, he brings it to the table. I get excited to see him compete every day. He is a special athlete. You look at him; he’s athletic, he’s built well, and he has tree trunks for legs. So, I’m glad he’s one of those guys that is on our team.”

Anderson and Jones offer a different perspective. Last year, they faced guys like Alex Highsmith, T.J. Watt, and even Nick Herbig daily. Now, it is Fautanu’s turn to get that baptism by fire, even this early. Later in the process, with his contract situation pending, Cam Heyward could be added to that list. But Anderson and Jones are leaning into helping Fautanu go through his rookie year. Jones decidedly expressed that he believes Fautanu will be a good player soon. Meanwhile, Anderson has worked next to Fautanu, allowing him to learn the rookie quickly.

Pittsburgh Steelesr Troy Fautanu

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Troy Fatuanu at rookie minicamp, Friday, May 10, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“Yeah, for sure, he’s been next week all the time at right tackle,” Anderson said. “So, he’s kinda just like, ‘Hey, we good right here?’ You know, just try to give him tidbits here and there. I am trying to give him everything I know, and he’s still getting everything right, trying to learn as he goes.”

As the Steelers move Fautanu around, starting him on the right side instead of the usual left side he played on at Washington, the team will continue to figure out what is best for the offensive line. Fautanu stated last week that he felt his first practice was ‘rough’ but that he bounced back. The more looks they get of him on the right side, the more comfortable they can feel about how he slots into the lineup.