SCU’s 2021 Steelers Awards: Outstanding performer on offense

Steel City Underground presents our “Steelers Awards” to players on the Pittsburgh Steelers team that had outstanding performances throughout the 2021-22 NFL regular season.

While one rookie standout already won one of Steel City Underground’s 2021 Steelers awards, another rookie made his mark in Pittsburgh and the NFL during his inaugural season as well. Tight end Pat Freiermuth was an excellent addition to the offense and earned him our “Outstanding performer on offense award.”

Pittsburgh struggled throughout the season offensively to remain consistent and put points on the scoreboard. With Ben Roethlisberger adapting to the scheme of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, Freiermuth proved to be a highly versatile athlete on the field during many of the Steelers’ regular season games.

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Freiermuth was, by far, not just a blocking tight end. With Eric Ebron in a more limited role and both Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader sharing duties, Freiermuth showed why he was selected out of Penn State. True to his collegiate scouting reports, his 6′-5″, 258 frame was lithe enough to allow the rookie to make several contested catches with powerful, sure hands, and a decent vertical ability.

During the regular season, Freiermuth recorded 60 receptions in 16 games for 497 yards and seven touchdowns.

He had a 100 percent catch average in seven-of-16 games. In Week 9, Freiermuth scored two touchdowns on five receptions.

Freiermuth fought for yards after the catch and proved he was not the easiest of players to bring to the turf.

The future outlook for Freiermuth is high. He makes an excellent red zone target and can be plugged in at the traditional tight end role, used in the slot, and asked to be an extra blocker. He’s a well-rounded, reliable component that should factor into what the Steelers do in 2022.

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