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

The Pittsburgh Steelers took to the practice field at St. Vincent College for their first practice in pads. Following practice Tuesday, 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.

Darnell Washington & T.J. Watt

A lot was made of the matchup between rookie Darnell Washington and T.J. Watt during the backs on backers drill on Tuesday. Coach Tomlin was asked if he saw what he wanted out of Washington going against Watt.

“You know for today. You know, he’s got a certain skill set. His reputation precedes him and we’re going to make him confirm it
every day.”

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Coach Tomlin informed the media last week that All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is away from training camp for personal reasons. On Tuesday, Coach Tomlin was asked if he has a timetable on when Fitzpatrick is expected back.

“Not that I will disclose. He was excused by me, and he has my support.”

Elandon Roberts

Signed this past offseason, Elandon Roberts is known as a downhill thumper at inside linebacker. Coach Tomlin was asked about Roberts intensity during backs on backers.

“He does everything with intensity. That’s one of the reasons why we were so attracted to him not only in free agency, but when
he came out of the University of Houston.”

Connor Heyward

Listed as both a tight end and fullback on the Steelers website, Connor Heyward has lined up in a lot of places so far in training camp. Coach Tomlin was asked if there is a specific spot they want Hayward to play or is it wanting his versatility.

“Versatility. He’s one of those guys that, that has that in his resume. He did both things in East Lansing. He’s done similar things
for us and it’s reasonable to expect that to continue to expand, provided he gives us the details that we expect.”

DeMarvin Leal

A player who played two positions on the defensive side of the ball last season was DeMarvin Leal who played the defensive line and edge. Coach Tomlin was asked if the plan is to keep Leal moved around on the D-line.

“Similarly, to the discussion regarding Connor man, he’s a guy that’s versatile. He’s shown that in the past, he played inside and
out for us as a young guy last year. It’s reasonable to expect that to continue and intensify.”

Joey Porter Jr. & George Pickens

There have been some intense matchups between cornerback Joey Porter and wide receiver George Pickens early in camp. Coach Tomlin was asked if he likes the intensity between the two players.

“I missed the one on ones. I’m sure that’s what you were referring to. I was down at back on backers, but you know they’re
young guys, both trying to find a place for themselves in this thing and improve daily. And it’s a natural thing that they come
together and compete against each other. As I’m sure there’ll be some other similar matchups that that may draw your

Mike Tomlin’s complete interview can be seen here:


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