Just because there have been several positive reports here and there about a few of the young defensive lineman currently on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster so far during training camp, doesn’t mean much of anything if defensive line coach John Mitchell isn’t impressed.
By the sound of things, the young group consisting of Stephon Tuitt, Nick Williams, Hebron Fangupo, Brian Arnfelt, Daniel McCullers and others still have a long way to go in their development.
“A lot of mistakes, not where they should be to play in the NFL,” Mitchell told Ken Laird of Trib Live Radio in a short interview following Saturday’s practice. “That’s why we’ve got training camp.”
According to several reports, a lot of the young defensive linemen are being rotated around, as well as being played in different groups. Mitchell, however, doesn’t want anything to be read into that.
“We’re rotating people everywhere. Until we play a game and get the speed of the game, we don’t know what we have,” he told Laird.
The Steelers are going to keep at least six defensive lineman out of training camp this year and we know who four of those players will be. Outside of Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, Cam Thomas and Tuitt, however, the race for the final two, and possibly even three spots still appears to be wide open.
So far during training camp, neither Arnfelt nor Williams has made much noise and the same goes for returning Fangupo. Sure, rookie McCullers has gotten his share of kudos so far during training camp from those that have observed practices, but not enough for him to be considered a roster lock at this point.
Mitchell’s right. This is what training camp is for and with there being eight more practices and four preseason games still left on the calendar, it will be a while until final roster spots are filled. Like the longtime coach told Laird, “We don’t have anything etched in stone.”