Steelers’ latest Slash — Trevor Wood — knows tight end is how he’ll get noticed
He probably won’t ever sell as many Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys as Kordell Stewart did two decades ago. But Trevor Wood is the Steelers’ newest “Slash.”
One of only two player on the team’s official 91-man offseason roster listed at two positions (center/guard B.J. Finney is the other), rookie undrafted free agent Trevor Wood has begun his mad dash to try to stick with the Steelers come September.
“It’s definitely a great opportunity and great competition,” Wood said after Thursday’s organized team activities session at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “Everybody in that room is talented and smart. So you have to just do certain things, and when your number is called you have to make the play.”
So happy to announce I’ll be signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers!!! So happy for the opportunity to play for such a great organization!! @steelers
— Trevor Wood (@trevwood80) April 27, 2019
For Wood, that number (88, for now) is called at not only two positions but for two different units. He’s officially a 6-foot-6, 265-pound “tight end/long snapper.”
Wood downplays his “long snapper” label, calling himself the “emergency” snapper and saying “I’ve definitely done more tight end” through OTAs. So, it doesn’t seem as if Wood, as things stand now, is being given an equal shot as Kameron Canaday in an effort to unseat Canaday as the Steelers long snapper.
And that’s logical, seeing as how Wood wasn’t even the No. 1 snapper for Texas A&M (last season) or Arizona (2014-17).
Still, Wood points out that Steelers starting tight end Vance McDonald also has taken reps as an “emergency” long snapper during these OTAs. But McDonald doesn’t have the “official” roster designation as a long snapper, so in at least that formal way, the Steelers seem to have interest in looking at Wood as a snapper.
As coach Mike Tomlin likes to say, “The more you can do.” You never know when a situation could arise in which an emergency snapper is needed.
“I did it in college, I did it in my Pro Day, and I guess they liked it as another asset,” Wood said, “so that’s something I want to keep working on.”
Make no mistake, though: Wood’s primary duty with the Steelers is at tight end. And he’s joining a position group that has an opening after the free-agency departure of Jesse James.
After McDonald and Xavier Grimble, there is no NFL experience among Zach Gentry, Kevin Rader, Christian Scotland-Williamson and Wood. Barring another move before the season begins, one of those four would have to make the 53-man roster.
Wood caught 11 passes for 80 yards over his college career, so his blocking prowess is likely his clearest early route to impressing the coaching staff.
“The biggest thing is learning the playbook and being able to play without thinking,” Wood said. “But other than that, just getting the tempo of the game down. The more reps you get here, the easier and the better it’s going to be.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .