We Won’t Learn Much From Steelers Rookie Minicamp (And That’s Ok)

Najee Harris at rookie minicamp

If you’re familiar with the site, you know we love to nerd out about anything and everything. Big, small, quirky, just plain weird. Any sliver of information is worth talking about. Having said all that, there’s very little we should take away from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp that’s wrapping up today. Drawing any sort of conclusions from any of the information is nearly impossible.

Rookie minicamp isn’t to do things like figure out how good the run game will be or if Najee Harris will be the goal line back or what Matt Canada’s offense looks like, all questions that have been asked the last two days. No one, not even Mike Tomlin, can give an accurate, detailed answer for that. This is a group of 34 players, most who have never played in an NFL game, taking their first steps to stick with the team.

It’s a point Tomlin made clear in his comments yesterday.

“We are just trying to get an assessment of conditioning, get an assessment of how they learn and how to teach them about some details relative to their positions and to work on teamwork,” he said via Zoom. “It’s more about those things than to assess the things you like or don’t like. It’s just much too early for that.”

Tomlin certainly doesn’t need my validation but he’s right. This is about getting eyes on the rookies, especially after the pre-draft process limited in-person connections, getting a feel for their conditioning, how they learn, and what makes them tick. That is incredibly important, the building blocks of working (and winning) with these guys but it’s not a lot for us outsiders to glean.

Sure, there are a couple small things to talk about. We wrote about the most interesting answers. And the Steelers do have a reputation for being one of the most tight-lipped organizations when it comes to this stuff. Maybe other organizations show what’s going on a bit better. But this weekend isn’t about evaluating schemes, roles, player outlooks. It’s the first small step in a long process. I’m excited as anyone to see players back on the field. But this is important perspective to keep.

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