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Steelers Pat Freiermuth Added Muscle “I Am Bigger, But Lighter” Says Mike Tomlin ‘Threw Challenge At Him’ And He Took It

Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

Steelers Pat Freiermuth Added Muscle “I Am Bigger, But Lighter” Says Mike Tomlin ‘Threw Challenge At Him’ And He Took It

The Pittsburgh Steelers had been looking for Heath Miller’s replacement for several years. They tried signing big name free agents, they tried trading for a tight end, and they even tried drafting a few during the middle stages of the draft. The closest thing they got to Millers replacement was Vance McDonald who retired following the 2020 NFL season at the age of 30.

Steelers Vance McDonald

PITTSBURGH, PA – JANUARY 14: Myles Jack #44 of the Jacksonville Jaguars intercepts a pass intended for Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Ladarius Green, Eric Ebron, Jesse James, and so on. Green was an epic bust. Dealing with injuries the entire season he spent in Pittsburgh before being released. Ebron was as inconsistent as they come with his hands, and an injury eventually ended his tenure in Pittsburgh last season. James played out his rookie contract and left town. He’s since bounced around the league with little success.

But with Roethlisberger’s time nearing an end the Steelers finally found their guy. Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth. The Steelers selected him in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft and he made an immediate impact as rookie. He had 60 receptions for 497 yards, and an 8.28-yard per catch average in his first season and showed his ability to be a security blanket for Ben Roethlisberger. With Roethlisberger now retired it will be even more important for Freiermuth to be that guy with Mitchell Trubisky, or more importantly Kenny Pickett if he wins the starting job.

Today speaking with Teresa Varley of Steelers.com, Freiermuth conceded that his body had a hard time handling the long schedule of an NFL season. He admitted that by the end of the year he was fatigued physically.

“I’m actually lighter than I was last year. I am bigger, but lighter,” said Freiermuth. “I was definitely beat up at the end of last season.”

Steelers Pat Freiermuth

Photo / JSKO_PHOTO (Twitter)

And when Freiermuth says he’s bigger it’s because he’s spent all offseason getting after it in the weight room with his personal trainer.

“We learned throughout the season that it’s a long season,” Freiermuth continued. “The benefit of putting on more muscle weight, it’s going to last throughout the season and we’re not going to feel as beat up later in the season. That is one of the things I learned from the vets, about how serious they take their bodies in the season and offseason, keeping the muscle on.”

A little challenge from Mike Tomlin threw a few more logs on the fire of Freiermuth’s burning desire to get better.

“I showed some good things last year, but I think just taking my game to the next level and be more consistent in the run game and pass pro. In the offseason I really went after it. Coach T threw a challenge my way and I went after it.”

A lot of fans believed that the Steelers should’ve drafted Kansas City Chiefs center Creed Humphry in the second round instead of Freiermuth. An argument could be made for either player as the Steelers selection, and the fact that Kendrick Green was horrendous as the teams center last season doesn’t help the arguement for Freiermuth. But something else that critics harp on is Freiermuth’s yards per catch average. It isn’t very good by any standard, and he agrees.

“I think my yards per average was atrocious. In my opinion, 8.2 yards, that is pretty bad on my end,” said Freiermuth. “I think if I have 60 catches, I should be more in the range of 800-900 yards. I think I definitely need to get that higher and maybe we push the ball downfield more this year.”

He will get a chance to better that number in 2022 as the Steelers offensive line is hopefully much improved and the ability to pass down the field more will be an option.

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The Steelers have always been a central part of my life. I grew up listening to WDVE tapes recorded off of the radio of Steelers fight songs, and wearing Steelers jerseys as a fashion statement. I joined the SteelerNation.com message board when I was 12, and this site has been a big part of my life ever since. I’ve found life long friends and met some of the best people on earth through this site. In 2015, I was able to help revive the site and develop a news website and all of our social media platforms. I can’t wait to continue to grow with all of you. Go Steelers!

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  1. Pingback: Steelers Pat Freiermuth on Kenny Pickett "He Never Beat My Alma Mater - So We're Good" - SteelerNation.com

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