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Troy Fautanu Is Learning From One of the Best

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Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Fautanu

PITTSBURGH — Going up against Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt every day in practice is no easy task, but in the long run, it’s only going to make rookie Troy Fautanu better. Iron sharpening iron as Mike Tomlin likes to say.

Fautanu hasn’t faced Watt with the pads on yet. That time will come in training camp, but he’s already got a glimpse of what makes Watt one of the league’s best edge rushers during OTAs and minicamp.

“To be ready for anything,” Fautanu said last week at minicamp. “A guy like that can do power, speed, finesse. He’s got it all, so just making sure that I’m ready to go every single play. You can watch film and see what his tendencies are but guys like that are super elite, you have to make sure you are ready for whatever they throw at you.”

Troy Fautanu reiterated that the speed of the NFL has been the biggest surprise. He had a welcome to the NFL moment on the first day of OTAs, but he has adjusted to the speed since.

“Going back to the first couple of days, just the speed,” Fautanu said when asked what has surprised him at the pro level. “The speed of the game and how fast people are moving. And how fast everything else is moving around you. But I’ve started to acclimate a little bit more and more as the weeks went on.”

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Troy Fautanu

Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Troy Fautanu during minicamp on June 11, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Offensive line coach Pat Meyer has already seen growth from Fautanu.

“Troy’s learned a lot of the different techniques very quickly,” offensive line coach Pat Meyer said. “The first couple days his timing was off because the speed of the game is different — now we don’t have any pads on yet, so nothing’s going to be determined until we get into camp — but his timing’s much better in terms of his get-off and run game and his sets and throwing his hands and being aggressive with his hands and whatnot. He’s improved tremendously from rookie minicamp to now.”

Fautanu expects to start at right tackle during training camp. General manager Omar Khan confirmed that, as well.

“I would say that’s true,” Khan said about Fautanu playing right tackle on 93.7 the Fan.

Fautanu primarily played left tackle at Washington, but what side he plays on really doesn’t matter.

“I don’t think it’s been as hard for him to change and do that as it would be for other guys,” Meyer said. “To be honest with you, when I talked to the kid in the draft room, he said he felt better on the right than the left. Playing on the left was more of a college thing for him at Washington. But it was not an issue for him at all.”

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.