Quietly, Steelers Rookie DE Stephon Tuitt Getting To It Early In Camp

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.

  • Burgh Ball

    Thanks for the update Dave.. I see Tuitt getting a lot of snaps this year and excited about his development.

  • afrazier9

    Yes I a notredame fan and I’ll tell u this guy is a good player the only thing I was worried about was some time he took breaks and that was my only problem but being as though he was always fighting double teams I gave him a pass

  • dkoy85

    I think out of all the rookies, I am most excited for Tuitt. I really hope he progresses into the player he and the coaching staff think he can be. If so the front three will be very solid. Glad to hear positive reports.

  • afrazier9

    But I really wanted us to draft him he will give us that other pass rusher along side Heyward and that will keep us from having over compensate by sending so many people on every blitz. We should be only sending 4 people and will get more pressure than we ever got mark my words he will be great

  • steeltown

    My man Tuitt! I wanted this kid badly, at one point early on I was actually hoping we’d trade back and grab him in the late 1st Rd. Cant believe he fell that far and we ended up with Shazier and Tuitt back to back. Kid just turned 21yrs old!

  • Madi

    The first thing Tomlin mentioned about Tuitt was his conditioning/work ethic. I believe that was his biggest concern as a draft prospect, due to his size last year. He seems to have that licked. This is the best possible response for fans from Tomlin.

  • Lil Smitty

    That is great to hear that he is coming along so well. I think he could be a major asset in subpackage schemes with his speed and strength. I would be concerned if he started the first game. I am believer in the “rookie wall”. I would like this kid to be ready if, or when, we play into January.

  • johnhoien

    I like the idea of keisel coming back to split snaps early.. Than peeling off as tuit transitioned throuout the season.

  • steelant

    I’m sorry but who doesn’t think we should treat tuitt like shazier and just start him because I think he’s a more pure 3-4 DE than Cam Thomas

  • chris ward

    Can’t wait to see Tuitt in the Preseason.

  • PA2AK

    I second that dkoy…we always hear about how good previous OLB’s have been in the good defenses, but some of us need to remember the unsung heroes of the DL. Everyone builds off each other in this type of team sport, but Pittsburgh has been blessed with some really tough, hardworking DE’s over the years. They don’t get nods for many pro-bowls because their responsibilities usually dictate they don’t climb the charts in tackles and sacks…but we’ve had some consistently stellar men at each end for quite some time. I’ll say Hood didn’t follow that mold…at all…and I think it really affected the LB play.

  • PA2AK

    Haven’t seen him play yet so I don’t know…I’ve heard enough about Cam Thomas to say I wouldn’t be mad! lol

  • steeltown

    If anything occurs from the allegations against Cam Thomas, we may see just that.

  • cencalsteeler

    Tomlins comments about Tuitt are the comments we were all hoping to hear about Adams. It seems Adams isn’t hungry enough, no heart. I was hoping Adams would’ve crawled out of the clothes hamper and shed his Snuggles the teddy bear persona, but no luck I guess.

  • PA2AK

    apparently they just need to have practices after midnight…he’s a little more lively.

  • 4 people on a blitz? Do you watch the Steelers often? The amoebae package sends 5 to 6 guys routinely. The fire X sends 5. If we played a 43 base defense I would agree with you but a 34 is way different. Lebeau’s blitz scheme is predicated on sending 1 more man than you can block. 4 guys is not enough.

  • Carlos

    Or if he stinks during preseason games


    He’s talking nickel. Heward and Tuitt being able to rush the passer from the interior on passing situations will be huge. If they can get good pressure with a 4 man rush that makes everything a lot easier.

  • Moneypenny76

    keisel is done. I don’t want to see him back. No upside there. All he will do is take snaps and keep Tuitt from developing as quickly as he should.

  • Even in nickle they send the house. Gay from the slot corner spot along with the outside/inside backers. Even they safteys blitz in sub package.