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5 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following Thursday’s training camp practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers took to the practice field at St. Vincent College in a non-padded practice ahead of Friday Night Lights. Following practice Thursday, head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media. Asked several questions by those in attendance, there was more than enough for a players mentioned article. Remember these are players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Joey Porter Jr. & George Pickens

It seems like every day there is a report about the matchup between cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and wide receiver George Pickens. Coach Tomlin was asked where he is in the growth department and if he’s been a quick learner.

“He is a quick learner. You know, he’s very much in the growth process in terms of the nuances of the professional game. The cornerback position in particular, has probably got more of an adjustment from college to pro than any other position in the game because of the differences in the rules in terms of contact beyond five yards. And so, he’s doing a really good job of being cognizant of that. He’s a line of scrimmage corner, hand play has been a significant component of his game and so that adjustment, we cannot underestimate. But I appreciate his efforts in that regard and he’s being productive in the midst of it.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked about the dance partners of Pickens and Porter and what makes them so good going up against each other.

“Highly competitive young people trying to get better.”

Tanner Morgan

Once again the Steelers fourth quarterback on the depth chart is not seeing much action in training camp as the top three options have all remained healthy. Coach Tomlin was asked about trying to get Tanner Morgan some work and if he’ll get into preseason games.

“There’s nothing new about that discussion. He takes great mental reps. He got some work, I think last Sunday. For example, we’ll carve out days. We’ll, give him an opportunity to show what he’s capable of. There have been many in his position over the years that have broken through and earned a place for themselves in this thing. Josh Dobbs is a classic example of that. Josh Dobbs has been in this camp on several occasions and being the fourth arm and found a way to persevere, and so he has that understanding. I like his attention to detail. We’ll see what he does with his opportunities when he gets them. Obviously, they’re going to be scarce. But, you know, that’s the case for a lot of these guys. You don’t get many opportunities to state the case for yourself, and that’s why there’s urgency in this team developmental process.”

Darnell Washington

Since the pads have come on, rookie tight end Darnell Washington as shown his blocking ability. Coach Tolman was asked how Washington‘s hands and route running have improved.

“I didn’t see any deficiency in that area of his game to be honest with you. He made a one-hand catch at his pro day to kind of got my and everyone’s attention and it’s kind of been a continuation of that. I think sometimes because of his stature and reputation that you think he’s one dimensional, but you’d be wrong in thinking that.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked about Washington’s catch at the end of practice that was originally signaled short of the end zone but he ruled it a touchdown.

“They’re not going to stop that big guy from falling in the endzone. Some people make suggestions, some people make decisions. I decided, he scored.”

Breiden Fehoko

In the past, Coach Tomlin has made remarks about the nose tackle position and those players needing to bring more to the defense in order to gain more playing time. Coach Tomlin was asked how someone like Breiden Fehoko embraces the traditional A-gap mentality at that position.

“I think that’s the beauty of our game. There’s a lot in our game, there’s a space for everyone in our game. That’s why I advocate it for young people. We have fast kids, skinny kids, big kids, short kids, man there’s a place in football for everyone. I’ll just take this opportunity to sell that component, that’s what I love about football.”


Mike Tomlin’s complete interview can be seen here:


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