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Steelers LB Cole Holcomb ‘Full Go’ for Training Camp Following 2022 Foot Surgery



Steelers Cole Holcomb
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb at OTAs, May 25, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

UNITY TWP., Pa. — Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Cole Holcomb is easy to pick out at training camp as one of the few remaining holdouts for his popular-in-the-90s mullet hairstyle.

Whether you think his style is hot or dated, everyone can agree that the “party in the back” portion of his haircut looks better in motion. So it’s a good thing that Holcomb has gotten the green light to go, go, go this training camp.

Holcomb’s 2022 season was cut short thanks to a foot injury sustained in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers. He tried to rehab it and get back on the field, his injury was not healing enough for that to happen, so Holcomb underwent surgery in early December, ending his season.

When Holcomb agreed to sign with the Steelers as a free agent this spring, they wanted him to come to Pittsburgh so they could examine him and make sure his foot was healing sufficiently. During OTAs and minicamp, Holcomb attended every single practice session, but for much of that time, his mullet was contained by a baseball cap, not a football helmet, as his participation was limited.

Reporting to St. Vincent College for the first time this week, Holcomb — and his locks — have been freed, he said in speaking with the media before practice on Friday.

“Yeah, it’s full go. Full crank. Let’s get rolling. It felt awesome to get back out there.”

Holcomb’s “full go” at camp isn’t just important to his hairstyle. The Steelers have completely revamped their inside linebackers group from 2022, letting Devin Bush and Robert Spillane hit free agency and releasing Myles Jack. In their place are Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, Tanner Muse and Nick Kwiatkoski, with only 2022 rookie Mark Robinson as a holdover.

There’s a ton of feel to the linebacker position, and it’s important to have that group together for the four weeks of practices at St. Vincent College.

Holcomb specifically could be the key to the whole position. Roberts is a run-defending specialist. Muse and Kwiatkoski have mostly played on special teams. Holcomb is the only player in the room that feels like a strong candidate to be the kind of three-down linebacker that the Steelers have seemingly spent seasons seeking.

So that mullet flying forward through holes from Day 1 of training camp is a very good sign.

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