Tomlin: Steelers Going To Be ‘Conservative’ With Allen Robinson, Cole Holcomb During Spring Practices

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With the Pittsburgh Steelers acquiring wide receiver Allen Robinson II last week, one of the biggest concerns was whether Robinson would be healthy, as he’s coming off a foot injury that hampered his season in 2022. During his pre-draft press conference with General Manager Omar Khan, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin said that the team isn’t concerned about Robinson’s health, but they’re going to take it easy with him in the offseason.

“With respect to the medical, I’ll just say that the doctors felt really good about him and we’re gonna be really smart. Kind of like we were with Larry Ojunjobi last year,” Tomlin said via video posted to the team’s YouTube channel. “We’re gonna be conservative with the approach. We understand the importance of spring ball, but there’s really no games being played until August. So, we (will do) the same thing with Cole Holcomb too. We’re gonna try to be really smart about that.”

Tomlin did not have any other medical news about players working their way back from injuries.

“No updates regarding the health of guys. I don’t have a detailed one, so I’m not gonna mislead you with false information,” he said. “We’ve been focused on talent acquisition and the guys have been going through the conditioning component of it and hadn’t had a significant update in that regard. We get on the other side of the draft and we start teeing this group up for on-field work, it probably gets to be more of a relevant discussion at that time.”

With Holcomb and Robinson both coming off injuries, it makes sense to lighten their load at this juncture of the offseason. Even if both are healthy, there’s no harm in giving either of them further rehab team and not risking anything happening during minicamp or other organized team activities before training camp and the preseason get underway. In the case of Ogunjobi, the team really limited his on-field work with him coming off a toe injury, and he stayed healthy enough to play 16 games last season. If the Steelers get that level of health out of Holcomb and Robinson, I think they’ll be happy.

One added benefit that comes with resting Robinson and Holcomb is the further development of second-year players like linebacker Mark Robinson and wide receiver Calvin Austin III. Robinson played sparingly last season while Austin III missed the whole year with a foot injury.

Getting those guys more reps and getting them up to speed will only make the Steelers a better team with more depth. Even if Robinson starts over Austin in the slot and Holcomb starts over Robinson at inside linebacker, the future plans will be for Austin and Mark Robinson to become starters.

Holcomb and Allen Robinson are both known commodities. There isn’t a whole lot for the team to see and evaluate in spring ball that they don’t already know about either player. While they’re new to Pittsburgh, they don’t necessarily need to rush on the field to learn their assignments, learn the playbook and just generally learn their role. Making sure they’re fully healthy for the regular season is much more important than them getting a few extra reps when things don’t really matter. The team had success giving Ogunjobi extra rest time last offseason, so it makes sense trying it again now with Robinson and Holcomb.

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