The top of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ depth chart at tight end consists of a former Pro Bowl first-round talent, and a rookie second-round pick. In theory, they should have a strong one-two punch at the position going into the 2021 season. How it plays out, and how they are used, remains to be seen, but so far, at least, they’re getting along quite well.
“He’s been great. He reached out to me when I got drafted, and he was like, ‘I can’t wait to work with you’”, rookie Pat Freiermuth said of Eric Ebron, his senior at the position. “He’s been awesome, just kind of giving me wisdom on how to play the position in the NFL. We play really well together. We kind of feed off each other, feed off the energy”.
Ebron is not unfamiliar with working in a tandem. He did it with the Indianapolis Colts, for example. To a lesser extent, he did it with Vance McDonald last year, even if the latter reduced his role in the receiving game with Ebron’s signing. But he already enjoys working with the Penn Stater.
“I think for a rookie tight end, it’s extremely hard, and he seems to be unfazed”, Ebron said of Freiermuth. “He’s probably one of my favorite people to play with at tight end. I think we’ll be really dominant. As long as our offense continues to grow and perform, I think me and Pat will dominate”.
Ebron, a Lions first-round draft pick in 2014, first signed with the Steelers last season. In 15 games, he caught 58 passes for 558 yards and five touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl with the Colts in 2018 after catching 66 passes for 750 yards and 13 scores.
Freiermuth caught 92 passes for 1185 yards and 16 touchdowns during his three seasons at Penn State. He caught eight touchdowns his freshman year, and seven a year later. He was limited to only four games in 2020, but caught 23 passes for 310 yards during that time with the one score.
He also comes into the league with a reputation of being a producer in the red zone, speaking with his actions while saying little off the field. Ebron likes to be a lot more talkative, but that’s not an issue for the duo in terms of personality clash.
“He’s gonna be the loud guy that goes out there and gets the fans going and everything like that, and I’m just gonna make my plays and just kind of keep my mouth quiet”, he said. “It’s kind of opposites attract, and I think that’s what’s going on right now”.
As long as they get the job done on the field, and their play speaks for itself, I’m sure for the most part nobody’s going to really care what they might be saying at other times.