Film Room: Jake McGee Looks The Part


Generally, when a player toward the bottom of the roster is replaced by somebody else due to an injury in the middle of training camp, it is rare for there to be anything but unfounded hopes of what that new player might bring. Yet time and again, one of these players do manage to make the roster.

If any of them manage to do so this year, it will likely be tight end Jake McGee, who was an undrafted rookie signed to replace undrafted rookie tight end Scott Orndoff. While he only got playing time in the fourth quarter for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I liked what I saw.

I mentioned that earlier in the week, but I thought it would be best to show you. While I am not exactly marking him down for a roster spot right now—there is still a lot more that he must show—he did get off to a promising start, that drew praise from head coach Mike Tomlin, which never hurts.

Some of the Steelers’ best runs of the night—specifically those by Terrell Watson—owe a debt of gratitude to McGee’s blocking, so that is what I will showcase here. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the rookie tight end executed the team’s staple counter trap very well with a pulling lead block on a chasing defender for an eight-yard gain.


A handful of plays later to end the drive, they ran the same play again, and this time with even better results. McGee caught the same defensive back once again and harassed him out of the way. The tight end showed surprising quickness, agility, and force in doing so, all encouraging assets.

Late in the quarter, toward the end of the game, they continued running that same play, only this time McGee’s block did not go to the perimeter, but rather folded inside the pulling guards, which helped to produce a seven-yard run up the middle.

Still later, as the Steelers were running out the block, he finally got the opportunity to execute something the realm of a base block. Set behind the line of scrimmage, he led through the C gap and met the middle linebacker, sticking his block and helping to create a crease for a five-yard gain.

As I mentioned in a previous article, McGee also looked pretty fluid and quick in the very little action that he saw running routes. I will be looking forward to him being more involved, perhaps, in the second and fourth preseason games, but special teams will ultimately be his best friend.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • johnhoien

    Nice pull

  • Mark

    His blocking does look good, however, that is against inferior competition. I would like to see how he performs against 1st team starters. I watched Grimble get flatten on the kick off team by a block, it look like he was ran over by a semi-truck! Lolol!

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    I liked what I saw too but right now just see him edging out Odom for the practice squad.

  • Jim Foles

    You didn’t talk about his special teams play.. he was active too.

  • Todd Hall

    He does seem to have good feet and blocking ability. Word is he has excellent hands as well. Can’t wait to see more. Grimble better step up

  • Jim Foles

    DJ is 30 this month.. He is more a FB than a tall TE for Ben.. It may be time to move on..

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, that wasn’t a good look for Grimble, but I’ll be taking a look at some of his blocking tomorrow.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If they were about to run him out of town they wouldn’t have bothered to sign him to a two-year contract when they could have easily continued to give him veteran-minimum contracts with salary cap discounts. Grimble is the more vulnerable of the two.

  • Joseph Shaw

    Grimble? B-b-but…we’ve already gotten the bust for Canton half done! 😁

  • Shane Mitchell

    Everything I read about him predraft says he has great hands, 6’5″, great hands and great blocking……..I think he has a chance to make the active roster.