PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are not expecting much out of their seventh-round picks, regardless of the draft year. At worst, they are a low-risk draft pick that gets usurped by a solid veteran or better-performing undrafted free agent. At best, they reach a point somewhere down the line in their career that they become a steal.
However, a player coming into training camp the year of him being picked and being impressive is rare. Somehow, it seems thus far the Steelers may have found someone just like that.
Tre Norwood has consistently been impressive day in and day out at Steelers training camp. Even more so, Norwood continues to flash newfound football intelligence each day. He seems to be learning tendencies quickly. Against the Cowboys, he was stellar, especially in coverage. With his full-time focus now on working at free safety, Norwood is feeling great about his play at the position.
“I think it’s been going good,” Norwood said of his transition to full-time free safety. “My biggest thing is watching those like Minkah (Fitzpatrick), TE (Terrell Edmunds), Cam (Sutton), and even Joe (Haden), watching those guys and picking up things from them. You know, the way they communicate, the way that they move. But I think it’s been going good just kinda honing in on one position.”
In particular, Norwood believes his experience at Oklahoma, where he played four different positions in the secondary as an outside cornerback, slot cornerback, and both safety positions, has helped him immensely as transitions to just working in the middle of the field.
“I think it helped me a lot,” Norwood said. “You know, just kinda knowing what everybody’s job is. I think that helps out a lot. Knowing what the outside corners have on a play, knowing what that nickel has, knowing what that down safety has, I think it makes the middle of the field play easier. Then, you know the leverages, what they’re doing depending on the call or the concept.”
As far as who is helping on the transition, Norwood says that the superstar Fitzpatrick is giving him lots of tips and pointers on just how to work in the Steelers defense as a single-high safety.
“He’s giving me tips on what he sees, and you know that’s from one of the best safeties in the league,” Norwood said. “He’s teaching me the way he reads things. So, for me, I’m just gonna soak it all up and apply it to my game. Because one day, I hope to be that great safety as well.”
Norwood’s tackling is the obvious concern after some apprehensiveness there in the Dallas game. Regardless of how he decides to attack the rest of the buildup to roster cuts, Norwood is in a great place to make the roster.