5 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following arrival to training camp
The Pittsburgh Steelers reported to St. Vincent College for training camp on Wednesday. Following a run test, head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media about the upcoming season. Since he was asked about a number of players, I am excited to bring the players mentioned article to Steel Curtain Network! Remember these are players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.
There were plenty of questions for Mike Tomlin about the Steelers second-year quarterback. Coach Tomlin was first asked how he would like to see the offense evolve in year two with Pickett.
“That’s a complex question, to be quite honest with you, man. We’ve got to maintain possession of the ball. We’ve got to maintain scoring pace. We’ve got to be well-balanced. We’ve got to utilize our eligibles and their talents. We’ve got to protect our quarterback. There’s a lot of layers to that discussion. But that’s why we’re here. As far as Kenny goes specifically, this is the second lap around the track for him like it is all our second-year players, so I think it’s reasonable for them to proceed with that knowing and that knowing to be displayed in their production and the consistency of their play. He’s no different than any other second-year player in that regard, it’s just that he’s our quarterback.”
For the next question, Coach Tomlin was asked about the difference this season with Pickett cemented as the starter rather than having a quarterback competition.
“That kind of remains to be seen. I think just on the surface level, the allocation of reps and the pointed work relative to those things are clearer and thus potentially more productive. But it remains to be seen.”
The next question asked Coach Tomlin about Kenny Pickett‘s statement when he arrived at camp about taking calculated shots.
“You guys are digging in deep on day one, man. Hey, we want to be explosive. We want to get yards in chunks, and I guess that’s what he’s speaking to, but we also want to possess the ball and control the flow of the game, and so we’ve got to do all things if we want to be a dominant group, and that’s a component of it. We weren’t explosive enough a year ago in terms of chunk plays, and so there’s a focus there.”
In the next question, Coach Tomlin was asked what he meant by “kill it” when he said he expected Pickett to kill it this season.
“We’ll see. He needs to be what we need him to be. I know that he’s preparing with that mindset, and I like his approach and his demeanor in that regard, but I think whether you’re talking about guys like quarterbacks or guys like me as a head coach, we need to be what our team needs us to be.”
In a later question, Coach Tomlin was asked how it could be explained with Pickett integrating himself with his teammates so quickly.
“Kenny is hard-working and no nonsense and a legitimate humble dude, and I think that’s attractive from a teammate perspective. I think he’s thoughtful and considerate of others. I think that’s attractive.”
The Steelers almost completely remade their inside linebacker room for 2023. Coach Tomlin was asked what he’s looking for out of Cole Holcomb as he steps on the field.
“To carve out a role for himself in this thing. He’s a starting capable guy. He’s got a reputable resume and body of work in Washington, so we’re excited about adding him to the fold and him doing some of the things here.”
After being voted a team captain in 2022, Najee Harris also brings a leadership quality to the Steelers in 2023. Coach Tomlin was asked what Harris needs to show between the lines in his third season.
“You know, just to continue to progress in the manner in which he has, not only inside the white lines but off of it. He’s a guy that’s shown a natural appetite for leadership and perspective, and it’s reasonable to expect that to continue, as well. Teams are continually evolving, man. Guys are ascending, guys are descending and so forth, and you’ve got a talented young guy like him that shows an appetite for leadership, you want to cultivate all components of that discussion, not only in his game but the intangible things that he provides us.”
In a later question, Coach Tomlin was asked about Najee Harris and his involvement with the concerns of running backs in the NFL in terms of their contracts.
“To be honest with you, as I embark on this journey with this group today, my focus is this group and the members of this group, so global issues such as the ones you mentioned are less important to me. I don’t know that I have an opinion that’s worth expressing.”
Unlike the last two seasons, the Steelers enter training camp with a very solid answer and running back behind Najee Harris in Jaylen Warren. Coach Tomlin was asked how Warren makes Harris better as a running back.
“I don’t know that he does. Jaylen better focus on Jaylen.”
Dan Moore Jr.
The Steelers traded up in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft to select an offensive tackle for the first time in more than 25 years. With both starting tackles returning, Coach Tomlin was asked if Dan Moore is going to get the first reps with the first team at left tackle.
“I hadn’t thought about it, but I assume so, yes.”
Mike Tomlin’s complete interview can be seen here:
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 26, 2023
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