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Our new book Steelers Takeaways – taking the best stories and quotes from over 400 Steelers interviews and breaking them down by topic and generation – is now available. Order via Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
See what these former Steelers and others have to say about the book!
Wheeling WV Books a Million 6 pm
Penguin Bookshop in Sewickly w/ Steelers Linebacker CRAIG BINGHAM – 1:00 pm
Barnes & Noble in Monroeville w/ Two-Time Super Bowl winner Linebacker MARV KELLUM – 6:00 pm
First, can you let readers know what you’ve been doing with yourself these days?
Well, I’m back in Houston – I moved back here when I signed with the Texans in 2002. I’ve been married eleven years and we have an eight year-old son. I’ve been working in commercial real estate since my retirement from football in 2007. I’m currently a broker at Fritsche Anderson.
I’ve also had the pleasure of running a quarterback academy since 2010 (Houston Quarterback Academy). I have group camps and offer private instruction. It’s been great to stay involved with the game in that way and mentoring QBs is something I love to do.
How hard was that post-NFL adjustment for you?
Everybody has a tough adjustment I think. In my situation I had to scratch and claw to make the team over my career. I had to fight to keep the dream alive. When the phone stopped ringing – you know maybe it’s time. In ’04 – that was my last year in the NFL – in Pittsburgh. My career came full circle. I tried the Canadian Football League in 2006 and that was good because it gave me closure. I knew it was time to start on the next chapter.
It was a tough adjustment. At first I didn’t like watching or going to games. I felt like I could still play – I know lots of guys have that feeling. Now that time has passed, I love watching games with my son and love being around it again and passing on the knowledge I gained.
RB Foster: “When Bill came in, the first thing he did was unify the team. From the outside, you don’t see or understand it. We were a divided team.”
LB Barnes: “Bill Cowher was former player, and you can tell he was a player’s coach. You knew where you stood with him, and I appreciated that. He had a lot of energy and he kept everyone loose. That made you better. “
K Reed: “Cowher was very easy to play for despite his sideline antics and “chin” at times…he is a great man…I’m blessed that he and Mr. Rooney gave me an initial opportunity…that’s where it all started.”
C Philip: “The vets in Pittsburgh really take care of their guys. Joey Porter had a condo that I lived in my rookie year.”
OL Torrey: “Joey Porter taught me how to practice and not only that but how to use my competitive nature to overcome disadvantages of height or strength.”
LB Frazier: “If you didn’t run to the ball, Porter gave you that look.”
Ward: “I decided that the best way for me to help my team and protect myself was to hit rather than be hit. So I decided I was gonna hit you before you hit me.”
Ward: “I didn’t play this game to try to make it into the Hall of Fame. It has been a great honor to just be mentioned in the same sentence with the greats Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. “
WR Edwards: “Hines wanted to help me but I just wanted to freestyle. I just felt like I knew it all. The team gave me great information. I just didn’t want to listen. I had the greatest receiver in Hines. I just wouldn’t listen. I was too stubborn.”
Kirkland: “I worked out twice a day before most were doing that and had a boxing coach too. Some looked at me as too big but I had quick feet and was aggressive,”
Kirkland; “As I played and got more confident, my personality came out more. I made fun of Dawson and even Cowher”
TE Bishop: “Kirkland was also a big influence by the way. He started a football camp in South Carolina and flew eight-to-nine of us down. “
First, can you let readers know what you’ve been doing with yourself lately career-wise and personally?
Well, I’m not currently employed – I’m just enjoying retirement. I do a lot of personal appearances – things of that nature. My relationships have grown because of that. People think it’s just about smiling, taking pictures, and signing autographs. But if you take a step back and ask and answer questions, you’d be amazed at the people you meet.
Now, I have gotten a couple of coaching offers – but that’s not my forte’. I’ve had opportunities. If the right opportunity comes along, then I’d make that happen.
Tell us about getting drafted by the Steelers, Were you surprised to be drafted by Pittsburgh?
First of all, I never imagined being drafted. Everyone was saying that coaches and scouts were talking about me, but the athlete I was – I wasn’t into it until I was into it. Once I left school I went to the Senior Bowl and that’s when I really found out that I could be playing for an NFL team. People after the Senior Bowl were saying mid-second round to the fourth round. I went on a few trips after that – to teams and a few combines – and my stock went up. Now people were telling me mid-to-late first round. I said “Ok – that was fine with me!”
I just wanted to be drafted. A number of teams would call asking if I wanted to play for them. It didn’t matter to me who it was – I just wanted to go somewhere.
First, can you let readers know what you’ve been doing with yourself since your time in the NFL?
After Pittsburgh, I still wanted to play and had opportunities at Miami, Atlanta, and wound up in San Diego (1989), but I didn’t make it and was released. I knew my career was over then. I jacked up my elbow in Pittsburgh. I couldn’t really bend it – I was in extreme pain. So I retired and went back to college for two semesters and got my degree.