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Rookie Recap: Pat Freiermuth

When the Steelers drafted tight end Pat Freiermuth in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the 55th overall selection, there was one thing you knew was going to happen.

The fans were going to embrace him with their cheers on the field.

And they didn't disappoint, with 'Muuuuuth' becoming the norm at Heinz Field and beyond every time he made a catch.

And Freiermuth gave them plenty of opportunities to cheer.

He finished his rookie season with 60 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns, coming through time and again and becoming a security blanket for now retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

But it didn't happen overnight. Freiermuth admits it was a learning process, something that began the minute he arrived at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

"It was definitely tough learning at first," said Freiermuth. "I think the OTA period really helped, just the walkthroughs and stuff and extra reps before camp. Coming from college, most colleges don't even huddle and they use one word kind of lingos and everyone kind of knows what to do on those plays. Being in the huddle and hearing Ben say the plays it's kind of an adjustment with that part. We were comfortable with each other at a certain point in the season. There were some challenges, but we worked through them throughout the year."

With Year 1 under his belt, he knows he has to make the jump as preparation is already under way for Year 2.

"I think going into every year is different," said Freiermuth. "When you go into college as a freshman you don't really know what to expect or work on because you haven't experienced anything. I know what to work on and know what to get better at on and off the field, as a leader and stuff like that. I'm excited to know specifically what to work at and specifically what I need to do to get better. I'm excited to attack that the best I can."

And there are two areas where he is focusing to do that - in-line blocking and downfield receiving.

"I need to improve in my in-line blocking," said Freiermuth. "I think I'm a pretty good blocker out in space. I need to be able to continue to have the coaches have trust in me and have confidence and be able to move defensive ends in the run game and be that point of attack blocker. I think point of attack blocking, being able to move people, I think that my upper body strength, core strength, my footwork, strike, everything. I'm confident that I will be able to do it next year."

Being a guy who can work the field vertically is also something he wants to do, having the run after catch that makes him even more of a threat than he is already showing he can be.

"I'll just get better at my routes," said Freiermuth. "You can always work at that level and run after. Coach (Mike) Tomlin always talks about that. Just getting more comfortable with that.

"I think with the year I had teams are going to watch the short, intermediate routes with me, those flat balls and curls and stuff like that. I definitely have to get a little more comfortable and be asked to run downfield more and run those deeper routes. I think this offseason is big for me being able to showcase that I can do that and work on doing that."

Take a look at photographs of Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth from the 2021 season

Pat Freiermuth Single-Game Highs:
7 vs. Seattle Seahawks, Oct 17, 2021
6 at Baltimore Ravens, Jan 09, 2022

Receiving Yards:
58 vs. Seattle Seahawks, Oct 17, 2021
53 at Baltimore Ravens, Jan 09, 2022

Longest Receptions:
24 at Buffalo Bills, Sep 12, 2021
22 at Cleveland Browns, Oct 31, 2021

Receiving TDs:
2 vs. Chicago Bears, Nov 08, 2021

All-Purpose Yards:
58 vs. Seattle Seahawks, Oct 17, 2021
53 at Baltimore Ravens, Jan 09, 2022

Most TDs:
2 vs. Chicago Bears, Nov 08, 2021

Receiving Average:
11.0 at Cleveland Browns, Oct 31, 2021
10.0 at Cincinnati Bengals, Nov 28, 2021