Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was the beneficiary of Day Two of Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp. With Ben Roethlisberger largely having an off day, Haskins saw an increased number of reps, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.
After practice, Mike Tomlin spoke with reporters about the way reps were distributed today. ESPN’s Brooke Pryor recorded and shared the video.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 23, 2021
“Just want to see more of the other guys,” Tomlin said via Pryor’s tweet. “Some of these guys we know a lot about, and some of those guys that we knew a lot about might not play in the Hall of Fame game. And so we’ve got to get to know some others. We’ve got to prepare some others. Just the nature of how this preseason is constructed now with today’s guidelines. Man, we don’t have a lot of time before we’ll be in a stadium. And so those that we’re preparing to play in Canton, we want to see more of them than maybe some of those who don’t intend to [play].”
As Tomlin stated, the Steelers are emphasizing playing their young guys for the Hall of Fame game two weeks from now. Yesterday, Mike Tomlin said rookie Kendrick Green will start at center against the Cowboys while second-year DB Antoine Brooks Jr. will start as the slot corner.
It sounds like Roethlisberger’s reduced reps were planned. In past years, he’s followed a full-day, half-day, off-day practice schedule. It’s unclear how much that’s changed since his elbow surgery but this report indicates today was a half-day. In the past, that meant working in individual sessions and perhaps one or two team sessions before being done for the day.
The Steelers need to get a long look at the quarterbacks behind Roethlisberger. Mason Rudolph could be the team’s starting QB in 2022, Dwayne Haskins is a reclamation project, and Josh Dobbs is fighting with Haskins for a roster spot.
Tomlin said he’ll have to watch today’s tape to evaluate how Haskins performed.
“He’s one of the guys that that gets additional reps when you dial Ben back. And so today was the first day that we dialed him back some. So [Haskins] got more exposure. We’ll take a look at the tape and he’ll learn from it and continue to move forward. But like his approach to business. It’s been really positive.”
Haskins was signed to a futures deal early in the offseason. Washington cut ties with him in 2020 after one-and-a-half failed seasons. Hopefully, coming into a lower pressure situation like Pittsburgh, without feeling the weight of being a first-round pick, will put Haskins in a better situation and improve his play.
Getting cut from Washington may have also served as a wake-up call that if he doesn’t quickly turn his career around, he’ll fall out of the league.
Haskins will need to show accuracy and make great RAC (run-after-catch) throws in order to stick in this team. We’ll have eyes on him next week and he should log a lot of reps this summer, especially in the HOF Game.