Pat Freiermuth has become a fan favorite as a rookie. After getting selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he’s built a rapport with Ben Roethlisberger.
Freiermuth’s made a few huge plays over the last month or so, including a two-touchdown game against the Chicago Bears. He seemed to do just fine with backup Mason Rudolph against the Detroit Lions in Week 10. On the day, Freiermuth had five catches on nine targets with 31 yards.
Unfortunately, he made a few rookie mistakes. Typically sure-handed, Freiermuth had a drop on the last possession of overtime. The Steelers ended up driving down the field still before he fumbled inside a minute remaining. Not only did he fumble, but Freiermuth could’ve easily made it out of bounds.
“The 24-hour rule, you know obviously it sucked when it happened and after the game. My parents have been great and everyone in my support corner have been great,” he said via audio provided by the team. “Guys on the team were awesome after the game in the locker room, coming up to me and making sure everything was okay.”
Freiermuth had just one fumble in his three-year career at Penn State. His ball security and overall hands are two of his major strengths.
The rough last few minutes of the game provided an obvious learning experience for the rookie. With a Sunday Night tilt against the Chargers, Freiermuth will be able to erase the mistakes from Week 10.
“I just got to flush it, learn from it, and move on. I didn’t secure the ball, and I wasn’t fundamental with it. I just got to be better in that area and in those critical situations.”
Although not ideal, plays like those happen with every player. It’s learning experiences like those that help mold players into seasoned veterans.
He seems poised to move on from the crucial fumble. Regardless of who starts at quarterback on Sunday, look for Freiermuth to bounce back.