Through the first six OTA practices, there haven’t been too many media reports about rookie Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt. The lack of reports, however, mean nothing, as the only thing that really matters is what the coaches think of the Notre Dame product.
So far, it sounds like defensive line coach John Mitchell likes what he’s seen out of Tuitt.
“I think he’s a young Aaron Smith, probably a little better speed,” said Mitchell, according to steelers.com. “From the lower body down he’s strong. He can run. He has long arms. He can knock down a lot of passes. This guy in shape in the right frame of mind is a heck of a football player.”
For Mitchell to call Tuitt a young Aaron Smith just six practices into the offseason says quite a bit about the second-round draft pick. Smith played 13 seasons in the league with the Steelers and became a full-time starter in just his second season. Over the course of his career he recorded 44 sacks, 408 tackles and seven forced fumbles.
Tuitt appears to be a humble and soft spoken kid and outside of him wearing Smith’s old No. 91, I doubt you’ll catch him comparing himself to him. Nonetheless, it’s nice to hear that Mitchell feels compelled to throw around such lofty praise. Let’s hope that the rookie can continue to live up to it.