Tomlin: 'Very little surprises me'

There are 60 players taking part in the Steelers rookie minicamp this weekend.

Nine of them are the team's draft picks. Others were signed as undrafted rookie free agents. And some are first-year players sprinkled throughout.

Then there is another group trying to catch the eyes of the coaches, in for a tryout to hope they make enough of an impression to get signed.

Coach Mike Tomlin enjoys each aspect of it, from the top picks showing why the team selected him, to the guys clawing and scratching for their opportunity to make their way onto an NFL roster.

"Really exciting stuff out here over the course of the last day and a half," said Tomlin. "Introducing ourselves to these guys, getting to know them a little bit, how they learn, presenting base materials to them. Watching them move. Seeing how their bodies work and things of that nature.

Steelers' rookies take the field for rookie minicamp

"It's an opportunity for some to try out and we are respectful of that and appreciative of their efforts. We are getting a good evaluation of some guys that are here on a tryout basis. We have a lot of irons in the fire as we do during a rookie minicamp. But it's been a good, positive camp thus far. Just appreciate the efforts, energy and attention we are getting from the young people."

Tomlin said there is a lot they try to accomplish during the three-day minicamp, and being open to everyone having an opportunity is a key.

"You multitask on a weekend like this," said Tomlin. "You have people here under different circumstances. You are really sensitive to that. Some guys like Devin Bush, you are getting them oriented into how we do business, what's going to be expected and introducing him to the drill. Where as others who are on less stable footing you are more respectful of their position and the fact that they may be trying to earn a spot or gain somebody's attention, so you want to provide opportunities to them to show themselves."

More from Tomlin:

On if anything surprised him during minicamp so far:

"I have been doing this a while. Very little surprises me on a weekend like this."

On if speed over size was a factor in selecting Devin Bush and Sutton Smith:

"A factor. Not the determining factor. Speed is always going to be an element to this thing relative to these positions and speed is an element for those guys."

On if this group of rookies is going to have to contribute sooner than others in the past:

"If they are capable. The journey determines that. Their talent determines that. Their work determines that. If they are capable I am not opposed to contributions from these guys."

On if he expects to see a lot of growth from Zach Gentry since he is newer to the position:

"It's reasonable to expect him to get a lot better and do so in a short period of time, but we'll see."

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