PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ 2021 camp phenom thus far has been none other than 2021 second-round pick Pat Freiermuth. With some dazzling catches, the tight end has stood out in a good way on that side of the coin.
“I’m not surprised by it,” Tomlin said. “He’s a Penn State kid, a regional dude, we’ve got a good relationship with James Franklin. We went to his pro day, got a lot of exposure. I don’t think any of us are surprised by what we’re seeing from him.”
However, Mike Tomlin is still not satisfied. With no pads on, it’s impossible to know if Freiermuth is ready to handle the challenges of taking a leap up in competition, especially with his blocking. But tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts has no such concerns.
“Oh, I know he can block based on his college tape,” Roberts said. “It’s just about getting him ready for NFL competition.”
While Roberts is confident, Kevin Colbert noted the ever so skeptical Tomlin wants to see it at the NFL level before he christens Freiermuth, telling him after every catch he makes, “but can you block?”
“I’m gonna play my role,” Tomlin said. “I’m gonna be consistent. So don’t ask me anything glowing about him. Those of you that know me know it’s too early in the process to get that from me.”
Freiermuth’s teammate and mentor, Eric Ebron echoes those same sentiments.
“For Pat, it will be about getting up to NFL speed,” Ebron said. “I can tell you from experience, college and the NFL are two different ballgames.”
Still in a room which the Steelers have termed “The Badasses,” blocking is a main focus. For Freiermuth, he knows he can be a weapon in the passing game. However, blocking is just if not more important to him in his rookie year.
“You know, i was brought in because I could do so many different things,” Freiermuth said. “Blocking is right up there with that. I’ll have to adjust. It’s about the details.”
The Steelers have to be happy about just how Freiermuth has looked thus far. With pads coming on tomorrow, they should be able to get a good look at just how good the Penn State product’s blocking chops actually are.