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8 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following Saturday’s training camp practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers took to the practice field at St. Vincent College for their third training camp practice on Saturday. Following practice, head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media. Even though he wasn’t asked many questions at all by those in attendance, I was able to still pull off a players mentioned article. Remember these are players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period with the exception of Coach Tomlin offering up an injury update in his opening statement.

DeMarvin Leal, Damontae Kazee, & Alfonzo Graham

During his opening statement, Coach Tomlin gave an update on players who were not available at various points in practice.. The players included DeMarvin Leal, Damontae Kazee, and Alfonzo Graham.

“DeMarvin Leal was taken off the field evaluated; he had a little difficulty breathing, we don’t think it’s significant. Kazee had an ankle injury of some description, He’s been evaluated as well, maybe a day or two. Alfonzo Graham appeared to have a shoulder injury when he fell and hit the ground, and he’s also being evaluated.”

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Another player brought up in his opening statement was Minkah Fitzpatrick where Coach Tomlin addressed his absence from practice.

“Non-injury related man, I excused Minkah for a few days. He’s dealing with a personal matter. He is being excused and he has my support.”

Nick Herbig & T.J. Watt

There were several questions about veterans helping the younger players during this time of development for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Tomlin was asked about Nick Herbig picking up some things from T.J. Watt and if he has noticed any extra juice from Herbig to start training camp.

“I have not.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked the emphasis of learning from a guy like T.J. Watt.

“You know, I appreciate TJ’s willingness to help him, but that’s not TJ’s responsibility. But that’s just a component of the team. I just don’t want to make more out of it than what it is.”

George Pickens

A lot was made of the influence of Steelers alumni, particularly with the announcement of the Steelers Hall of Honor inductees for 2023 on Saturday. Coach Tomlin was asked about former Steelers coming to practice and interacting with younger players and in his response he mentioned an interaction with George Pickens.

“I think anytime our guys get an opportunity to interact with Steeler alumni, it’s a benefit to them. We value that here. The oral history, the telling of how things were, and not only guys that are being honored, we appreciate them. But you know, Santonio Holmes was here today. I had a nice moment watching him and George Pickens for example. We appreciate those Steelers for life and what they bring to us. Not only in terms of words, inspiration and guidance, but just the knowing of the standard that is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that work has already been done.”

Hakeem Butler

There are a number of players in Steelers training camp that did not take the traditional path to joining the team. Coach Tomlin was asked about what attracted them to Hakeem Butler for this season and what he still needs to show to get some work with the second team.

“We were interested in his big-play ability when he came out of Iowa State a number of years ago. It was a guy with somewhat of a short football resume, more of a basketball guy growing up and we saw upside in that. He was a big time one on one playmaker. You know, we’ve kind of followed him and tracked him. He did similar things in the spring league this year, and we had an opportunity to sign him. Time will tell in terms of the rep span. People are working where they are working right now but we’re still acclimating. We’re not overreacting to things that are transparent out there at this point and changing groups and things of that nature. He’ll get plenty of opportunities to show his capabilities.”

Mike Tomlin’s complete interview can be seen here:


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