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4 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following Wednesday’s practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers held their first practice since their final cut down to 53 players before an extended weekend off. Following practice, head coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the media. Since there was no formal press conference this week, there was enough this time for a players mentioned article. Remember these are players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Dylan Cook & Spencer Anderson

Pittsburgh Steelers made two trades shipping off players from the offensive line which speaks to the confidence of the young players such as Dylan Cook and Spencer Anderson who they kept on the 53-man roster. Coach Tomlin was asked what these young offensive linemen showed him over the summer to earn his trust to keep over some of the veterans.

“Not only quality play, but versatility. I think versatility is a component of decision making, and guys like Dylan (Cook) and Spencer (Anderson) showed position flexibility.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked what Dylan Cook specifically showed besides versatility.

“He got continually better. He kind of got on a moving train in terms of when we acquired him, and I like to see guys acclimate themselves to an ongoing developmental group. And he did that nicely. And particularly down the stretch, he really showed position flexibility.”

Gunner Olszewski

Although the Steelers had an open battle for some of their wide receiver positions going into training camp, it became apparent by the end of the preseason that Gunner Olszewski would be one of their options. Coach Tomlin was asked what makes Olszewski so valuable to the roster.

“Toughness and versatility and smarts. He checks all the intangible boxes. He knows assignments at all positions. He’s a versatile skill set guy. He’s willing to do a lot of things and it’s appreciated.”

Anthony McFarland Jr.

After spending a year on the practice squad, Anthony McFarland is back on the Steelers 53-man roster. Coach Tomlin was asked what he liked from McFarland that he showed during the preseason.

“Continual growth. You know, play making, one on one play making. He has a distinguishing trait that kind of distinguishes him from his position group. He won more in space than others. He’s a challenge in the passing game, probably presents more of a challenge than some others. And so, distinguishing varsity traits are things that have been his calling card that allowed him to ascend.”

Mike Tomlin’s full interview can be seen here:


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