FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots are travelling to Pittsburgh this weekend, but they’ll still get a little bit of local flavor when they take on the Steelers.
Pat Freiermuth, a native of Merrimac, Mass., will line up at tight end for the Steelers on Sunday to play the first game of his career against his hometown Patriots. Part of a very stout Pittsburgh receiving corps, Freiermuth will hope to aid quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers to a win over New England as home underdogs.
Bill Belichick, who has been coaching in New England since Freiermuth was less than 2 years old, was asked about the local product at his Wednesday press conference and had nothing but nice things to say, firing off a barrage of descriptors.
“Good player. Athletic kid, big target, catches the ball well, competitive blocker, has good size to cover up some people at the end of the line of scrimmage,” Belichick said. “He’s done a good job for (Pittsburgh). Made big plays last week. So, he’s part of their good skill package. That’s a good skill group and he’s one of them. They definitely have some plays there that are his kind of plays — where he’s kind of the only receiver or the primary receiver — and he’s come through for them. He’s comfortable when he gets those opportunities.”
Freiermuth was one of Trubisky’s most reliable targets in Pittsburgh’s dramatic overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. The 23-year-old led the Steelers in receiving with 75 yards on five catches. The strong start to this season is welcomed news for Pittsburgh, which is looking for a breakout campaign from the 2021 second-round pick.