Foster Speaks to Steelers Rookies

Steelers held a virtual mini-camp

Jeff Hathhorn
May 10, 2020 - 3:00 pm
Ramon Foster running on field

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – As Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin thought of starting off a first ever virtual rookie mini-camp, he wanted someone to grab the players attention.

So he had recently retired guard Ramon Foster speak on a video message to all of them.

“Ramon delivered in a big way,” Tomlin said.  “I just thought he was a great guy to welcome those guys.  A guy that understands the journey that many of those guys are attempting to walk.”

“A guy who was an undrafted guy and went on and had a great career that lasted over a decade.  Really just a well-respected professional and recently retired professional.” 

“He’s very fresh to just getting off the field and I thought the position that he was in and the perspective that he has would be a good one.  I thought he did an awesome job.”

After that Tomlin said his draft class and new signees were able to break up into smaller online groups of offense, defense and special teams and then within that, to smaller groups yet with position coaches and they were able to utilize video.

“The retention of the information is probably the most significant difference in working in this setting,” Tomlin said.  “It’s much more difficult to get the feedback, the feel if somebody is receiving the information when you are working remotely than it is when you are dealing with somebody in an intimate space.”

The Steelers head coach said they wouldn’t be evaluating this weekend, even if they were together.

“We are in a teaching and instruction phase right now and we will be in that until we get into a football environment and a training camp like setting and we play the game,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin said its fair for everyone right now and it’s a matter of how guys learn.  And this group doesn’t really have any idea what normal is, in a NFL sense.

“One thing they share with all rookies, and the circumstances are irrelevant, is that they don’t know what they are getting into,” Tomlin said.  “No rookie does.  And the only way you can pay respect to that is to be in the very best condition, per your position, in your life.”

“I really wouldn’t see it as behind because ultimately everyone is in the same boat right now,” rookie tailback Anthony McFarland said of not having in-person meetings.  “Being in the NFL, they expect you to still know the plays and know where you are lining up.  It’s up to you, if you are behind.”

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