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Steelers HC Mike Tomlin has ‘big-time concerns’ about rookies being ready

Steelers, Mike Tomlin

The unusual circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic have caused NFL teams to adjust on the go, with the offseason being limited in a variety of ways. Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has some ‘big-time concerns’ about rookies being prepared.

While conducting an interview with Jalen McClain on Instagram, Tomlin shared the challenges the incoming rookies will face:

“Their ability to contribute, their ability to gain significant roles and to maintain those significant roles are gonna be challenging in these circumstances, more challenging than normal … And I think throughout the course of this journey, we’re all going to realize how significant or maybe insignificant that is. I’m working my tail off with the Pittsburgh Steeler rookies to make it as insignificant as possible.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams haven’t been able to go about their offseason normally. Just recently, the NFL permitted teams to begin re-opening their facilities. However, only players that are dealing with injuries are allowed to return while coaches and healthy players remain banned.

During the 2020 NFL Draft, the Steelers added a few players they expect to be immediate difference-makers. Among them, Chase Claypool — the team’s second-round pick — is expected to be Pittsburgh’s No. 2 wideout.

On the other hand, Alex Highsmith should be able to carve out a rotational role as an edge rusher. Regardless of the round a rookie was selected, they could have a tough time adjusting to the Steelers’ system this offseason. As a result, Tomlin believes there could be some rookies who have trouble getting acclimated in 2020.