Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Zach Gentry is back in Albuquerque, NM right now visiting with friends and family as that is where he was born and raised. As part of his visit, Gentry, the Steelers fifth-round draft pick in 2019 out of Michigan, stopped by ESPN Radio 101.7 in Albuquerque for an in-studio interview to talk about various topics.
While Gentry wasn’t asked a lot of questions about the Steelers and his first year living and playing in Pittsburgh during his Tuesday interview, he was asked late during it to disclose what his goals for the 2020 season are.
“I want to be a main contributor, I want to make a lot of plays for the team and help the team win,” Gentry said. “I think we had a lot of potential this last season. If we had maybe a couple more pieces and things went our way a little bit more, I think we would have ended up winning a lot more games. So, I hope to help our team go all the way next year.”
Gentry won’t have to do much in 2020 to better his rookie contributions as the one-time Michigan quarterback turned tight end only dressed for four games during the 2019 regular season on his way to logging roughly 50 total offensive snaps. He caught just one pass for 4 yards during his rookie season as well.
Gentry was also asked on Tuesday if he agrees that the Steelers 2019 season can be regarded as a remarkable one based on how much adversity the team had to face all throughout the year.
“I agree,” Gentry said. “I mean, we started off 1-4 and a lot of people were calling for Coach [Mike] Tomlin’s job and then a couple of weeks later they were saying he should be the Coach of the Year.
Gentry was then asked if he believes head coach Mike Tomlin is currently one of the most underrated coaches in the NFL.
“Yeah, I mean, I have an unbelievable amount of respect for him,” Gentry said of Tomlin.
So, what does Gentry think about the city of Pittsburgh?
“I love the city,” Gentry said. “Love the city and like you said, I love how stable the organization is. I mean, the Rooney family has had the Steelers since 1933 and very little turnaround on the coaching staff as well. Not just Coach T [Tomlin], but my position coach has been there for 15, 16 years.”
Gentry was also asked to comment some on Steelers fans and if they deserve to be referred to as the best base in the NFL.
“Definitely,” Gentry said. “I mean, I can’t say enough good things about the Steelers and the fans also. I mean very, very passionate about the Steelers, but I think they’re extremely respectful. They’re very, you know, you go some places and the fans are a little different, maybe a little more rowdy and I would say disrespectful, but I think the Steelers fans just really have it figured out.”
The next few months will tell us how much the Steelers think of Gentry in 2020. Should the Steelers decide to move on from starting tight end Vance McDonald by March 18 by not picking up his option and they ultimately choose to not re-sign backup tight end Nick Vannett at some point, Gentry will then be in line for increased playing time in 2020 and that’s even if the team decides to spend an early-round draft pick on another tight end.
If, however, McDonald is ultimately retained all offseason and the Steelers also spend an early-round draft pick on yet another tight end, Gentry will then be considered far from guaranteed to make the Week 1 53-man roster come September.