PITTSBURGH — The Steelers OTAs are continuing along as the offseason program draws near to June. However, what can be taken away from the team as they pull closer to the mandatory minicamp in the middle of June? Here are a few takeaways from Tuesday.
Mark Robinson’s Time
There is no question that the big winner from Tuesday at Steelers OTAs was second-year linebacker Mark Robinson. Robinson looks impressive and added some muscle. However, the play that stood out to everyone sent his teammates into celebration. Robinson confirmed that on Tuesday he caught a pick-six off starting Steelers QB Kenny Pickett in an impressive leaping play.
“That was assignment football,” Robinson said. “The ball came to me and made a play. Opportunities come, and you run with them. It was a ball-aware play. It came to me, and I took advantage of that opportunity.”
Robinson’s always been intriguing based on his hits and demeanor. However, the game seems slower for him this year so far. Whenever pads come on and game action hits, that is when Robinson’s true colors as a second-year player will come out. But the former running back turned linebacker has cleaner transitions in coverage and a ball-instinct at this point to where it does feel like he is playing without control. If he could take a leap, it would be a welcome sight for the Steelers.
Golden Fitting in Already
Markus Golden took the field for his first practice as a Pittsburgh Steeler on Tuesday, and he is already fitting in at this point. The former Arizona Cardinal and veteran feels like he was going to become a Steeler at some point, and grew up being a fan of the team.
In-person, Golden matches the tape. One thing that doesn’t show up on tape is the bubbly, ready-to-work personality that shone through right away from him. For younger players like Nick Herbig and DeMarvin Leal, Golden is a welcome new type of player to learn from in the room. Regardless, he does not look like an elite athlete, but the hand usage and placement are crisp right off the rip. Even going through drills, you can see why he wins on tape with his technique.
What About Leal?
One of the bigger questions at this point is the question of what the team will do with DeMarvin Leal. I wanted to watch Leal on Tuesday just to see what potential strides or changes he’s made. Right off the bat, it looks like he’s dropped a little mass in his lower half but gained some in his upper half. That’s just a quirky observation I got, but that frame is pretty versatile for whatever they want him to do.
His bend is as impressive as ever. Despite being as big as he is, Leal has freaky short-area quickness and flexibility. There is no clarity on where he will go just yet in the process. But one thing I do know is the talent is all there, and Leal has a bit of a different frame at these OTAs than he did this time last year.
More Explosive Warren
Jaylen Warren is back with a new frame. There is no doubt he is jacked right now, and that even surprised him. Warren did not plan for anything in his master plan, he just came out of his workouts in Utah from running the hills and doing more weightlifting.
However, he feels more explosive than he did a year ago when he just plants his leg into the ground and hits the gas pedal. Sometimes he even surprises himself when he has that next gear he did not think he had. That’s an interesting nugget, and Warren does look a little bit more explosive, quick, and altogether a bit more athletic. That should aid the running back in his quest to have an even better year two.