Nick Vannett ’80-90%’ comfortable with Steelers offense heading into his debut |

Nick Vannett ’80-90%’ comfortable with Steelers offense heading into his debut

Joe Rutter
Steelers tight end Nick Vannett blocks during practice Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Nick Vannett’s first week with the Pittsburgh Steelers resembled the final week of each semester he spent at Ohio State.

“I felt like I waited last minute to study for final exams,” Vannett said Saturday, “and here I am trying to cram everything together and try to get a good, solid grade on it.”

Vannett concluded his third and final day of practice this week with his new team before the Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night at Heinz Field.

His comfort level within the Steelers offense has increased exponentially since his arrival Thursday from the Seattle Seahawks.

“I feel like I’ve definitely made some progress,” Vannett said. “I’m able to be in the huddle, hear the play call, line up right. For the most part, I know what my assignment is. There are a few plays that confuse me a little bit, but I feel like I’m 80-90% comfortable with the offense and the game play.

“I’ll make sure the next two days I’ll continue to prepare and be 100% and confident out there.”

Vannett was acquired in the wake of injuries to Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble, the top two tight ends on the Steelers roster. Grimble landed on injured reserve, and McDonald missed a third day of practice Saturday as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

Vannett or rookie fifth-rounder Zach Gentry will start if McDonald sits against the Bengals. Vannett, who is in his fourth season, has the decided edge in NFL experience. Gentry played 10 snaps last week in his first action with the Steelers.

“That’s what I’m expecting,” Vannett said when asked if he will play a lot against Cincinnati. “I think that’s why I got so many reps this week. I’m not sure what Vance’s deal is, but if he doesn’t play, I’m expected to play a good amount. It’s good I got the reps this week so I feel comfortable with the plays and can replicate it in the game.”

Vannett said he will play the “Y” – or inline tight end spot – with Gentry moving around the formation when two tight ends are on the field.

“They wanted to make it simple for me,” Vannett said. “Down the road, once I get more comfortable, they will expand my role a little bit. They want me to focus on one now rather than learn the whole concept.”

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.