PITTSBURGH -- Don't call Pat Freiermuth "Baby Gronk." The Pittsburgh Steelers' second-round pick spoke with media following Day 1 of rookie mini camp and made it clear he doesn't like the nickname.
"I hate it," Freiermuth said with a smile. "I think it's pretty annoying. I am trying to get away from that nickname. So I won't be called that."
Freiermuth wore No. 87 at Penn State and was known for his physicality and big-play ability. Much like Gronkowski.
"I guess it came about because I'm from that area," Freiermuth said. "Obviously, Gronk played for the Patriots for a long time. I grew up kind of watching him. I hate it because I think it's pretty annoying. I don't like being called "Baby Gronk." I'm trying to get away from that nickname. I don't want to be called that."
Steelers fans are known for their nicknames, and at the tight end position, they don't shy away. "Heaaaathhh" roaring from Heinz Field when longtime tight end Heath Miller would score could be heard in Altoona. (That's not close to Pittsburgh)
For now, Freiermuth will remain nickname-less but don't expect it to last too long. Steelers fans won't take long to find a new one.