The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie minicamp gets underway on Friday and that means the eight new draft picks and 12 undrafted free agents will join the 21 first-year players for some on-the-field instruction at some point over the course of the next three days. Additionally, those 41 players will be joined by roughly 15-18 more players who were invited in for a tryout. As we saw just a few years ago, tryout players can’t be ignored and while unlikely, a future member of the 53 man roster could emerge.
Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin should serve as a poster child around the league for players that are brought in by teams for tryouts. Garvin, who played is college football at West Virginia, was allowed to tryout for the Steelers during their 2013 rookie minicamp and whatever he did during those three days impressed enough people that it resulted in him being signed to the team’s 90 man offseason roster.
While that in and of itself was a huge accomplishment, Garvin took it one step further. While he was included in the Steelers final round of cuts just prior to the start of the 2013 season, he was quickly signed to the practice squad and ultimately to the 53 man roster prior to the first game of the season. If not for the team needing to first accommodate injured tight end Matt Spaeth, who had to be on the initial 53 man roster in order to qualify for the designated to return list, Garvin likely would’ve never been waived.
Garvin went on to play in 15 games during his rookie season as a core special teams member. He made the team’s 53 man roster again last season and this time played in all 16 games.
Is there a Terence Garvin in this year’s group of tryout players?