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First, you more excited or nervous about camp starting this week?
I’m more excited about the opportunity ahead of me. It’s my first NFL camp – I’m just excited to get started.
How has being a local guy and Pitt alum helped you – especially as you’ve practiced as a college player next to the Steelers players? And how has having fellow Pitt alums like Orndoff, Conner, and Galambos helped you?
Yeah they’re familiar faces. You see those guys and they’re all faces you know and it makes you want to be the next guy. I’m just thankful as lots of guys don’t get that opportunity.
All of us Pitt guys – we all push each other. To do this or that and figure out what works and doesn’t work.
First, how is the offseason going for you – what have you been up to before camp starts?
Well, I’ve been back in Utah with my family – getting ready to move to Pittsburgh. I’ve been working out every day – twice a day – running at 6 am every morning…keeping my body healthy.
Coming off OTAs and your first camp, what were you biggest takeaways from those experiences?
The biggest thing is getting used to the speed of the game. The tempo – it slows down when you huddle but when it’s live, the speed is way different than college. The terminology is different too. But the OTAs were great – minicamp was great too. Getting to work with the older guys helped a lot.
First, let us know what you’ve been doing with yourself over the Summer between camps?
I’m down here in West Palm Beach with my family. I’m working out in the Florida heat – it gets hot in Pittsburgh but not like here. It’ s a different type of heat. I’m working out in Boca Raton – running and lifting twice a day.
As a local (IUP) guy, you signed this year as an undrafted free agent with the Steelers. Why Pittsburgh?
I have a close relationship with one of the head guys in scouting – a former IUP guy and he talked to me about signing. When the draft got into the later rounds I knew I wouldn’t be drafted and the Steelers reached out to me. Other teams did as well but I thought Pittsburgh was the best option. Continue reading →
First, tell us a bit about your health right now- you at 90%? 100%?
I’m healthy – looking forward to going into camp healthy this year. That’s where I’m at right now.
Last year of course you started of strong but there were some struggles the second half of the season. Can you talk a bit about what portion of the struggles were due to injury and how the struggles and injuries affected you?
All players play hurt. The downfalls get to you, but it was more mental, the mistakes. The injuries don’t play into it. You just have to play through them is all.
First, as a guy in his second round of OTAs and mini-camp with the Steelers, noticing anything different with the team and schemes this season?
Not really – it’s the same thing as last year – pretty much the same stuff. Same coaches…same players…
Your story is an interesting one – very similar to Alejandro Villinueva’s. You came out of college two years ago as a defensive lineman and are not playing offensive tackle. Talk a bit about how that happened.
First, tell us a bit about how this offseason differs from last one for you?
Well it’s not so much new just more competition. It’s been more competitive as a team this year versus last year. We had great attendance in OTAs and mini-camp – they key players showed up besides Bell.
Any concern amongst teammates about Bell?
Well many of the players around the league don’t show up to OTAs and mini-camp. I don’t know Le’Veon’s situation but I don’t think it’s about money, just knowing him as a person. I think it’s more about the surgery he had and coming off of it. I know what that’s like. Once he’s back we all know what he’ll give us. I don’t think anyone has any concerns. And it helps because the guys behind him get more reps and that’s huge for us. You don’t get those once the season starts. And that’s chances for receivers in the passing game not just backs.