Steelers News

Tomlin On Adeniyi’s 2019 Camp Start: ‘Man, Ola’s Been Flashing’

With just three 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers training camp practices now in the books, it seems to be evident that a few players are off to good starts. One of those players on the defensive side of the football appears to be second-year outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, an undrafted free agent out of Toledo last year. To read the practice reports so far from our very own Alex Kozora and other various media members, Adeniyi has essentially picked up right where he left off last preseason.

After the team’s first padded practice of 2019 ended Sunday evening, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to comment on Adeniyi’s camp showing thus far and especially what he showed during Sunday’s practice.

“Man, Ola’s been flashing and showing some bursts and finishing some rushes,” Tomlin said. “It’s been really good competition between him and Hawk [Jerald Hawkins], specifically. A good young tackle – outside linebacker competition thus far with guys like Hawk and Chuks {Chukwuma Okorafor} and Zach Banner, and some of those young outside edge-rushers.”

Acording to a few Twitter reports during Sundays camp practice, Adeniyi also looked great during the team’s first backs-on-backers drill of 2019.

“Adeniyi seemed to come out on top for today, Missi Matthews of tweeted. “He faced three different running backs and ended the period going against Benny Snell three times. Coach Tomlin said of his one rep vs. the rookie, “Man, that’s awesome.”

Since camp practices got underway on Friday, Kozora has noted how Adeniyi has beaten backup left tackle Jerald Hawkins quite a few times on pass rushes. That’s certainly good to hear when it comes to Adeniyi and obviously not such a good sign when it comes to Hawkins, who is not a lock to make the 53-man roster this year.

Last year during the preseason, Adeniyi stood out in the exhibition games but a hamstring injury suffered during the finale resulted in him starting the regular season on the team’s Reserve/Injured list. While he finally did get put on the 53-man roster late last season, he wasn’t able to log very many defensive snaps and zero special teams snaps.

So far in the limited camp footage of Adeniyi that I’ve seen, he looks a bit leaner than he was this same time last year. He’ll need to help out on special teams some this year as a backup linebacker and it sounds like he’s doing just that in the early camp practices.

With starting outside linebacker T.J. Watt currently dealing with a minor hamstring at the start of this year’s training camp, Adeniyi, along with fellow outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo, are both sure to pick up a few extra snaps in his absence. Adeniyi should get quite a bit of playing time in the preseason like he did last year and he should be expected to make quite a few splash plays in those four contests judging by the start he’s had to this year’s camp. Everyone should really be looking forward to watching him the remainder of the summer.

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