Steelers News

Pat Freiermuth Loves Seeing Young Offense Together In Phase One Of Offseason Program: ‘It’s Very Valuable’

The first phase of the offseason program began earlier this week. Already the Pittsburgh Steelers’ UPMC Rooney Sports Complex finds itself richly populated with large men who get paid a lot of money to run and hit and catch and throw and block and tackle. And occasionally kick things, I suppose.

It’s an especially important time for the Steelers in this particular year given how much has changed. This has been the busiest offseason for Pittsburgh that I can remember, with quite a bit of roster turnover. All of this comes in the midst of a rebuild of a still-young offense, a fact not lost on third-year tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Having most of the guys back, it’s awesome that we can work together, especially the offense because we are young”, he recently told’s Teresa Varley back at the facility where he has been able to join many of his teammates. “We are working together and getting used to each other again”.

That includes second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett, who entered his rookie season as a backup and emerged as the starter, authoring comeback wins in the second half of the year and narrowly missing the postseason.

Every position group is dealing with change of some kind, with few players at all with more than two consecutive years of tenure. That group would consist of only Diontae Johnson, Chukwuma Okorafor, Zach Gentry, Kevin Dotson, and Anthony McFarland Jr.

“It’s very valuable”, Freiermuth added about the importance of everybody gathering together and getting an early start on the year. “Getting to know our new teammates and starting to build relationships. Also getting to know different things that can get us going quickly when OTAs and camps roll around”.

The Steelers still have to get through the 2023 NFL Draft next week, of course, where they are very likely to add at least one more prominent player to the offense—specifically along the offensive line. It’s not greatly likely that they will address the wide receiver or tight end positions before day three, if at all. Perhaps the same goes for tight end and quarterback, but it would be shocking if a tackle were not taken within the first three rounds.

Rookies and veterans don’t get together, at least on the practice field, until OTAs, which is typically when the two groups will meet for the first time. But it’s common practice for certain veteran leaders to get in touch with the new class right off the bat.

The further development of Pickett, a first-round draft pick last year, is the biggest factor here. His work with the first-team offense through all of the offseason and into the regular season was limited, so getting as early a jump as possible in year two makes all the sense in the world. It sounds as though they are already taking full advantage. After all, he’s already organized private player-run workouts.

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