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10 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin in Thursday’s press conference

As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepared to take the practice field at St. Vincent College for their final practice of 2023 training camp, head coach Mike Tomlin had his formal media session ahead of Saturday’s preseason game. With plenty of questions asked by those in attendance, it is once again time for a players mentioned article. Remember these are players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Since there are so many quotes to get through, the questions will be condensed as much as possible.

Kenny Pickett

Coach Tomlin was asked how much longer Kenny Pickett will play with the first-team offense on Saturday night.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach was asked numerous questions as he addressed the media ahead of Friday’s preseason game.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked what he would like to see from Pickett on Saturday.

“Just like I mentioned at the outset, just like I talked about the entirety of the group is reasonable to expect them to be better in all areas given last week’s experience, in-stadium experience. The process by which we go through to tee up performance is something that we want to capture and master. And so this is a second time for us to do it. So it’s reasonable to expect that performance floor to be higher.”

In a later question, Coach Tomlin was asked what he has seen from Pickett in his first camp as the starting quarterback.

“Man, I just like the way he’s communicating with people. I like the way he comes every day ready to compete. He’s not over-analyzing the big picture too much. He’s just trying to play his role in the creation of a great day and being there. I think that other people, by virtue of his position, getting their vibe off of that and his ability to remain singularly focused and hyper-competitive, I think, is an asset to our unit and to our team.”

Cam Heyward & T.J. Watt

Coach Tomlin was asked about the goofy relationship between Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt, how they push each other, and how they bring out the best in each other on and off the field.

“You know, I watch it. Obviously I’m not in their relationship. But I appreciate it and I watch it. And I just think that both guys are teed up comfortably for their roles in their relationship. Cam is a big brother in his real life, and T.J. is a little brother in his real life, and I just think they’re comfortable in the ways they come together on that premise. Obviously there’s mutual
respect and T.J. is a grown man, an elite professional, but their dynamics I just think is it’s very comfortable for them because of who they are in their personal lives from a brother perspective.”

Larry Ogunjobi & Nate Herbig

With Larry Ogunjobi and Nate Herbig both being ruled out for Saturday, Coach Tomlin was asked if there are any potential long-term concerns with their injuries.


Nick Herbig, Isaiahh Loudermilk, & Keeanu Benton

Coach Tomlin was asked what he has seen and liked about Nick Herbig and if he has been everything he was expecting when he picked him in this year‘s draft. In his answer, Coach Tomlin mentioned other Wisconsin Badgers such as T.J. Watt, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and Keeanu Benton.

“He has. Obviously we like doing business with Wisconsin, just schematically, the things that they were doing defensively under their former coordinator, Jim Leonhard, were things that were very similar to what we do. So there’s less speculation there in terms of your vision of what he might be capable of doing. It’s the same thing that made us comfortable when we drafted T.J. and Loudermilk and Benton. There’s very little speculation schematically. There’s a lot of carry-over. I can’t tell you that I’m overly shocked at what we’re seeing from him. It’s very much in line with what we saw on Wisconsin video.”

Broderick Jones

Coach Tomlin was asked what he saw from the tape of Broderick Jones from the first preseason game and how much he is pushing to start.

“I thought he did a really nice job for a first-time out. I thought he played with energy and played with finish. And oftentimes when a guy is in his first opportunity and is worried about assignment, some of those things are lost. It’s really good to see him play with physicality and finish, and it’s reasonable to expect him to take a significant jump this week and into the next, and what happens over the course of the next two weeks will probably determine that component of that discussion that you just mentioned.”

Coach Tomlin was asked a follow-up question about if it was a coincidence Broderick Jones played more snaps than any other offensive player. Coach Tomlin answered the question in jest as he was laughing.

“I’m surprised by that. I’m surprised by that.”

Najee Harris

Coach Tomlin was asked if he has done anything different about how he approached the workload of Najee Harris in training camp after he suffered an injury last year.

“Not in response to the injury you mentioned. It’s just the maturation as a professional, giving him what he needs. We don’t live in fear regarding injury or injury history.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked what he feels Harris needed during this camp compared to his first two training camps.

“Less physical reps required the older he gets and that’s nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering about that.”

Mike Tomlin’s complete interview can be seen here:


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