PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Steelers practice wrapped up for the week against the Raiders Friday as Darnell Washington tells us why he’s not playing or targeted more. Joey Porter, Junior discusses his reps, while Patrick Peterson continues to mentor, liking what he is seeing.
Steelers were thrilled he was still there in the third-round. The growth from the first offseason rep to the ending of training camp was encouraging that Washington could have an impact in the offense. After releasing Zach Gentry that anticipation grew that he would make plays. Through two games, not only does the rookie tight end not have a catch, he doesn’t have a target. He’s not blaming the quarterback or offensive coordinator, he says he must improve.
“Block better,” Washington said Friday. “I feel like for the tight ends who block a lot, you see them get a deep ball. Blocking opens up the pass, it sets up the play-action. From my point of view, there are still some fundamentals, technique-things that I personally I can fix to help the offense in the run game.”
“It’s really about executing my job, better.”
Washington said he got tripped up in the game Monday, they were just being cautious with his knee. He said it’s the difference between college and pros that the Steelers allow for rest days.
The topic is getting more and more play on the 93.7 The Fan talk shows and social media of giving Joey Porter, Junior more chances to play. So far just 21 snaps, although 14 of them coming against the Browns, so double the first game. Mike Tomlin said he will get them as he earns them, similar thought from defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
“I always try to go into each week wishing for more time and hoping, but at the end of the day it’s not up to me,” Porter, Junior said Friday. “I just got to keep showing up to work every day and keep gaining their trust and confidence.”
“Definitely there is a process,” said Steelers corner Patrick Peterson, who is working closely with Porter, Junior. “I think Coach Tomlin does a great job of spoon-feeding the young guys. Spoon-feeding the young guys that when it is their time to show, they have a little taste of it.”
“This league will chew you up and spit you out very quickly. If a young guy seems to find no success early, who knows where his career may go. Coach does a great job of not giving them too much, but not too little to where they still want more.”
Porter said he did ‘ok’ against the Browns, noting he could have done more, feeling he had an opportunity at an interception on Monday night. He also feels like he’s done a ‘pretty good job of taking advantage of the plays I had’.
“When you look at it when Joey does come in the game, it’s money down,” Peterson said. “We don’t have the time for mistakes. Nine times out of 10 they are coming at the youngest guy in the secondary. He’s done a great job of holding up. I’m so happy for him for the success he’s having.”
Peterson said that success comes from just being where he is supposed to be. He needs to continue to understand the task at hand when given a responsibility. Peterson said Porter, Junior comes in early for film study and learns from others well. He’s also dealt with the pressure well of being a legacy with the Steelers. What Peterson really likes so far is Porter, Junior is not satisfied and he said the ones that stick around for a long time have that quality.
“Hopefully I can keep putting out good tape, to give the coaches more ease and let me get more burn,” Porter said.