Keeanu Benton says Mike Tomlin told him that Steelers need ‘goons’

Defensive tackle Keeanu Benton spoke to the media shortly after being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft. He noted that head coach Mike Tomlin told him they picked him because they wanted “some goons” out there.

When Tomlin was asked about this, he grudgingly did own the comment but jokes that Benton needs to “keep our private conversations private.”

Pittsburgh brought in Benton to be that kind of bully in the middle of the defensive line and give this group some power and physicality. Pittsburgh also focused on adding this mentality at defensive tackle in free agency when they signed Armon Watts and Breiden Fehoko. Benton had his best college season in 2022 with 10.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

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Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire