Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned the names of several players that could be considered training camp standouts. Following practices last week, he discussed each of the following four players.
Benny Snell Jr.
Snell Jr. is a player who has reportedly improved quite a bit since last year. The running back did not make many big plays during the 2019 season, but that is expected to change this year.
“Man, you’re talking about competitors, Benny is a tough-minded kid,” Tomlin said of Snell. “He’s a competitor.”
Snell Jr. is expected to be the second running back in line this season behind James Conner.
“I’m excited about year-two,” Tomlin said of Snell. “You know how it is, you’ve been a lap around the track, you kind of know how the ground is laid. He had some contribution to us a year ago and it’s reasonable to expect him to just continue to take off and be a big-time guy for us.”
Coach Tomlin addresses the media about Friday's practice, his powerful statement prior to practice, the right tackle position, Benny Snell Jr., Kevin Dotson and more.@OurFordStore | #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/wDKPhAsadg
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As a rookie, Dotson is in a tough spot after the offseason was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite having no OTAs or rookie mini camp, Dotson has been taking a large number of snaps in practices.
At the start of training camp, the guard suffered a knee injury that kept him out of practice for a week.
“He’s been a part of us and he has participated quite a bit through this process,” said Tomlin. “He’s just missed a lot of padded work and hopefully that exposure has been helpful to him. Also, during the time that he was down, he hasn’t missed any meetings or mental preparation. So I’m sure there’s an adjustment. It’s probably more of an adjustment given the fact that he has very little resume to speak of but such is life—things he has to deal with. We’ll work hard to give him opportunities to catch up and to display his understanding.”
Another player among the training camp standouts in Tomlin’s eyes is Dupree.
Last year, Dupree was part of a strong defensive duo with T.J. Watt. Together, the two outside linebackers had 26 sacks and 84 tackles in the 2019 season alone.
Reporters asked Tomlin what improvements he wants to see in Dupree during the 2020 season.
“More significant playmaking, ball awareness type things,” Tomlin said. “Continuing to build upon the natural trajectory that his career has taken. One thing about his performance is it’s been continually improving over the course of his stay here. And so it‘s reasonable to expect that to continue. He’s always highly conditioned. He’s gaining experience with each and every snap and he’s a hard-working guy.”
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Claypool has been the talk of Pittsburgh during training camp. The Steelers expect Claypool to have a big impact this season, along with the rest of the receiving core.
Claypool, among other players, has the potential to add depth to the offense and make some big plays.
“It’s a bunch of young guys in that room,” Tomlin said. “Some of those guys are so worried about their responsibilities from an assignment standpoint and making sure that they’re on the details that that’s not a relevant discussion for them. Claypool is just trying to figure out how we function here and his place in it. Some of those other guys who have been here and had roles obviously, this ‘moving up or moving out’ and I’m sure they got a desire to expand their capabilities in terms of helping us win football games. And so I expect those guys to do that.”
Featured Image Courtesy of Steelers Wire.
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