Steelers’ QB Dwayne Haskins knows that he has to prove himself with a new team. The former Washington quarterback signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh after going unclaimed on waivers and plans to show the Steelers’ staff that he loves football.
“I just wanted to prove to the coaching staff and my teammates how much I love football,” Haskins said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here and showing them that my mind is in the right place and I’m willing to work to be able to show my talents and be able to work and earn a spot here.”
Haskins said he plans to get better following the experience of being released, adding that it was “humbling” but not surprising.
“I just wanted to be at a place where I felt like I was wanted and I feel like I’m wanted here,” Haskins said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be somewhere where I just feel I can be myself and play ball and not have to worry about all the other stuff that comes along with it. I just wanted to be at a place where I felt like I was wanted and I feel like I’m wanted here. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be somewhere where I just feel I can be myself and play ball and not have to worry about all the other stuff that comes along with it.”
Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger says that Haskins has strong throwing mechanics already.
“I was just telling [quarterbacks] Coach Sully [Mike Sullivan] the other day that his release and throwing motion mechanics are some of the prettiest I have ever seen,” Roethlisberger said of Haskins. “I told him I wish I had that. I joked that he could throw it through a car wash, and it wouldn’t get wet.”
Haskins wants his hard work to speak for itself and knows that he has expectations to meet with his new team.
“My expectations here is to make everyone who decided to take a chance on me look good and just work as hard as I possibly can and let my work speak for itself,” Haskins said. “Of course, I want to take after Big Ben and stuff like that, but that comes in due time.”
Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin has had conversations with Haskins during camp and says he is more concerned about the young quarterback as a person than as a player.
“I’ve been more concerned about Dwayne the person, kind of getting to know him and getting an understanding of what he’s been through and how that’s shaped him, affected him positively and negatively, how it’s affected the growth and development of his game,” Tomlin said. “I think, more than anything, Dwayne and I are just trying to get to know one another. I think it starts there, and then we can focus on some things relative to the game itself. I just want to get to know the young man and help him grow in that way.”
Haskins said Tomlin is taking a “hands-on” approach when it comes to motivating and calling him out during practice.
“He’s been a great motivator, just being able to talk to me,” Haskins said. “We play defense, and he talks a little stuff to me on defense, tries to get me to throw the ball into coverage and I’m learning not to do that. He’s been great.”
Free-agent G Trai Turner has worked out with the Steelers recently but remains unsigned, saying that he is currently putting himself through his own workouts with Hall of Fame T Jackie Slater.
“I have just been training, man,” Turner said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Having my own sense of OTA’s minicamp whatever you wanna call it. Been having some workout sessions with Jackie Slater. Staying in the gym, staying sharp and awaiting the time because I know it’s coming.”
Turner just turned 28 recently but says that his health is not a concern as he is ready to go whenever his name is called.
“I’m back at a hundred percent,” Turner said. “Last season was rough being injured and overall with COVID. You go through situations that arise and I am just ready to come back and have a phenomenal season.”
When it comes to where he may end up signing, Turner says he is paying attention to the teams which may be in need of his services.
“I’m definitely looking at certain situations and scenarios,” Turner said. “I want to put myself in the best situation to win. I’ve been around a little bit but I’m an under-the-radar type of person. I don’t care if anybody hears or knows about it, but I will make a splash sooner or later.”
Chiefs’ S Tyrann Mathieu has been publicly pessimistic at times during negotiations with the Chiefs but made it clear he wants to remain with Kansas City for the remainder of his NFL career.
“It’s been everything I’ve asked for,” said Mathieu, via Adam Teicher of ESPN. “I feel I can play football anywhere, but when you develop relationships with certain people, these people become a part of your life.”
Mathieu specifically mentioned the relationships he has developed with HC Andy Reid, DC Steve Spagnuolo, DB coach David Merritt, and strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin.
“All of these men are important to me,” Mathieu said. “I can’t see me ever walking away from that relationship. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and so for me, I think, holding on to certain relationships, I think that kind of outweighs any monetary thing, any feeling of emotion I may be dealing with at the moment. For me, football comes fairly easy. When you have certain men in your life that are trying to coach the person just as much as they’re coaching the player… The mental part of the game is so big for an athlete. If any athlete can find the right mental space, I think all of our games could really go to a new level. Obviously, I love football, but I think having certain guys around me, I think it clears my head to focus on just the things that are in front of me. Kudos to my coaches for taking the time out to coach the person just as much as the player.”
After tweeting the response: “Probably not. Been here before. All good.” when asked about getting a contract extension from the Chiefs, Mathieu says he is remaining optimistic about finalizing a new deal in Kansas City.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to be a Chief, continuing to help the younger guys around me and help the receivers, help anybody I can to continue to get better,” Mathieu said. “That’s my focus. It should be my focus. Just being here the last couple of years, I can’t see myself wearing any other uniform. The fans here are amazing. My teammates are amazing. I spoke about the relationships I have with my coaches. Some of these things you can’t buy in other places. I’m a guy that’s had to start over quite often. I would like to stay here, for sure.”