On Tuesday Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron met with the media to discuss what he envisions for 2021, both for himself and the other tight ends on the team. “I believe we will play a pivotal part in this offense,” he said, echoing statements he made during the team’s minicamp in June, when he boasted that Pittsburgh’s tight ends are capable of “dominating.”
Apparently, Steelers tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts has also been impressed with what he has seen in minicamp and training camp, because he has a new nickname for his players.
It’s “badasses,” revealed Ebron, before apologizing for his language and referring to the group as “Bad donkeys … asses,” smirking as he explained the rationale behind the moniker.
“Tight ends, we should be badasses. We should be able to block badass. We should be able to run badass routes. We should be able to score on anybody in a badass way. That’s the mantra we’re going to take this year and that’s the mantra we’re going to take for our room,” he elaborated.
Ebron went on to note that Fredo [Alfredo Roberts] came up with the nickname, “but I told him it was cool, because it’s technically my room,” he added, flashing a big smile.
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Ebron on Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry
It’s also worth noting that Ebron seems especially impressed with what he has seen from second-round pick Pat Freiermuth, even though he won’t come right out and say it explicitly.
“For a rookie tight end, it’s extremely hard, and he seems to be unfazed,” Ebron said, trying to be delicate in his praise.
“He’s probably one of my favorite people to play with … so I think we’ll be really dominant,” he added, using that same word again before adding a caveat: “…As long as our offense continues to grow and perform, I think me and Pat will dominate.”
Meanwhile, Ebron also had kind words on Tuesday for projected third-string tight end Zach Gentry, saying “Gentry is phenomenal. Just watching him as he came out of Michigan, to now being with him two years … his development, his flexibility, his knowledge of the game is improving. He’s starting to understand that he’s 6-[foot]-12,” quipped the former first-round pick, before letting everyone around him know that he intentionally misstated Genty’s height for effect. (Gentry is listed at 6-foot-8).
“He has to understand that his body is abnormal compared to other tight ends and other people and he has to be able to use that to his advantage. And he’s doing a really good job of understanding that this year,” concluded Ebron.
Ebron Left Practice Early on Wednesday
It’s very possible that Freiermuth, Gentry, and the other tight ends on Pittsburgh’s 90-man roster are going to get extra work in the coming days.
According to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com, Ebron left Wednesday’s practice with what she described as “elbow discomfort.”
Certainly, the other two tight ends on the roster—Kevin Rader and Dax Raymond—would welcome any additional opportunity. Of the pair, Rader might be the most likely to beat out Gentry for a roster spot. He spent most of the past two seasons on Pittsburgh’s practice squad and made his NFL debut in last year’s regular season finale against Cleveland. He also played in January’s postseason loss to the Browns.
As for Raymond, he’s a former teammate of Green Bay’s 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love (Utah State), and originally signed with the Steelers last summer.
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