Rookies are to be seen and not heard during training camp and that’s exactly what appears to be happening with the Pittsburgh Steelers second-round draft pick, defensive end Stephon Tuitt.
While he hasn’t received too much attention from the media so far at Latrobe, the Notre Dame product has quietly put together several nice practices, according to our own Alex Kozora.
Following Thursday’s practice, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked how Tuitt is doing so far.
“He’s doing well,” said Tomlin.
Short and sweet for sure, but when pressed further to talk about what he likes about the 21-year-old defensive end, Tomlin proceeded to give a somewhat meatier response.
“More than anything (it’s) his willingness to work. He comes in in great shape, he’s highly conditioned, he’s chasing the ball (and) he’s developing the skill associated with the position,” Tomlin said of Tuitt. “He’s got a ways to go there. They all do. But I like his attitude and approach to it.”
While that description might not seem like much, I take that as high praise being as it came out of the mouth of Tomlin, as the Steelers head coach doesn’t like his rookies to get too full of themselves.
Steelers guard David DeCastro has gotten a chance to bang pads with Tuitt early on in camp and he was also asked recently to weigh in on him.
“He is real rangy, long athletic body. He is going to be a good player,” said DeCastro.
According to Kozora, Tuitt has gotten quite a bit of work on the left side with the second-team unit in base personnel. However, he has been the recipient of some first-team reps on the right side in sub package looks.
According to Scott Brown of ESPN.com, during Thursday’s practice, Tuitt injured an assistant equipment manager who was serving as a dummy quarterback during a pass rushing drill when he couldn’t get himself stopped after breaking free from the offensive lineman he was battling.
It’s still early, but by the sound of things, Tuitt is getting to it right from the start and even dummy quarterbacks aren’t safe when he’s chasing the ball.