UNITY TWP., Pa. — It’s not always easy to catch the eye of Mike Tomlin, but if you end up doing it, you are probably doing something right. That is the case for Steelers defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk, who is entering his third season in the NFL, and the Steelers have been looking to find the areas of growth where he is showing himself to be an improved player. Tomlin has already honed in on one specific area. That is Loudermilk’s hand usage.
A year after Loudermilk struggled to really do much of anything on the field, he is having the best training camp of his career. He followed that up by playing at a high level against the Buccaneers on Friday. He received a shoutout from none other than his head coach on Sunday.
“You know, the skill development relative to the position to hand usage,” Tomlin said of Loudermilk’s improvement. “The professional things coupled with defensive line play obviously. He’s an imposing figure and strong young man and that’s always been a component of his game, but I think he’s continually grown and evolved from a fine motor skill perspective in hand usage.”
Loudermilk did his fair share of numbers in the one-on-one reps today as well, winning most of his reps with a lethal bull rush and long arm combination. He has mostly decided to throw any type of finesse move to the wayside and instead focus on his power moves. Given his height and strength, that is probably the correct way to go about it. With his continued growth, the cut-down day will be even harder for the Steelers this upcoming season along the defensive line. They seem to have a strong nucleus to work with overall and Loudermilk is proving to be one of the promising, ascending players.