Rookie Pat Freiermuth doesn’t have the heartbreak of last season. The pain of the Pittsburgh Steelers losing – at home – in upset fashion to the Cleveland Browns in the 2020 Wild Card Game. The absurdity of going down 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, their largest deficit *ever* after 15 minutes, and getting sent home by the Browns.
But Freiermuth can tell how much this game means to the guys who were on the roster last season. And he knows the atmosphere is different compared to the team’s first six games. Freiermuth hopped on Good Morning Football Tuesday morning and was asked about the locker room’s mentality heading into Week 8.
“It definitely does,” he told the show when asked if the feeling this week has changed. “Obviously the guys that were here last year and the vets, they kind of told us what it was like in the playoffs last year against the Browns. And everything that happened in that game.”
It’s not worth reliving that ugly game last year. Steelers’ fans don’t need another explanation of how and why the team lost. Freiermuth, though, hopes to rid those demons with what would be a crucial win over them this Sunday. A victory would put Pittsburgh at 4-3 on the year, their first time over .500 since their opening win against Buffalo. Freiermuth could have a big role to play this weekend, coming off a season-high seven receptions in Week 6’s victory against the Seattle Seahawks.
He went on to echo Eric Ebron’s thoughts, knowing there’s no extra bulletin board material needed to get-up for this Sunday.
“So there’s definitely kind of some added motivations and in this weekend’s game. I’m excited to go into Cleveland and compete with the Browns.”
In the Wild Card loss, Eric Ebron posted a healthy stat line with seven receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown, a 17-yard grab mid-way thought he third quarter. If Freiermuth can post similar numbers, hopefully with Pittsburgh throwing less this time around (Roethlisberger attempted a whopping 68 passes in that game), then the Steelers will stand an excellent chance of coming out on top.