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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!
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.
First, you were a good basketball player in high school and college. Why chose football?
I was too short for my position – I was a center. I took on football but I was new to it – it was a challenge.
Happy about the decision?
I’m definitely happy. I mean, I’m definitely not content though with where I’m at.
Chris Adamski () takes us around the horn on the Steelers squad to discuss depth and roster questions/issues early in the offseason.
First, let’s start with defense and the scheme – inn speaking with some of the players this week it seems like the one common theme on defense is improved communication and some changes in scheme. Thoughts?
Well – if you consider that 40% of the starters (I consider five defensive backs with the slot corner to be starters) are entering their second year in the secondary, that’s big. The Steelers were not hiding their communication issues last year. It was the rallying cry all off season – fix the communication issues. Which makes sense since they started two rookies – one of which was out of position early on.
In terms of scheme, testing things is routine now. They have the whole off season to get it together, especially with this part as an emphasis.
First, I know you’re in between OTA’s and camp. What are you doing with yourself now?
Well, I’m in New York and just took my finals – I happy – I did really well. I know I have rookie development soon. Then camp after that.
You just wrapped up OTA’s a short while ago. What were the things you took away from there that you realized you need to work on most?
Staying low in my run blocking. More power in my legs to get more leverage, I’m taking extra time working on the agility shoot and working on the blocking bags.
With SteelCityUnderground, I interview former Steelers LB Carlos Emmons on making the transition as a rookie outside linebacker to the NFL, pass rush techniques, frustrations of dropping into coverage, mentors and more.
Read more interviews by former Steelers via the book Steelers Takeaways: Player Memories Through the Decades. To order, just click on the book:
We had the opportunity to interview former Steeler cornerback JT Thomas on Steel Nation Radio Presented By Steelers Takeaways. Thomas was an All-Pro CB and part of all four Steeler Super Bowls in the 70′s and knows a thing or two about playing in the secondary, an area the Steelers have addressed heavily in the past two drafts.
We find out what JT thinks about coming into the league out of college, playing the slot, what teammates and coaches taught him and how he thinks the black and gold will do this year, among many other items!
Listen to the interview here
Read more by former Steelers via the book Steelers Takeaways: Player Memories Through the Decades. To order, just click on the book:
Donovan Woods: “I think I was really just a training camp body, but I just wanted an opportunity. I thought I would be playing inside but they put me at outside in mini-camp so I was outside. There were a ton of guys I thought. Though I played outside all camp and preseason, we had some training camp injuries and in the last preseason game against Carolina and I volunteered to go to inside after Arnold Harrison went down with a knee injury and had a very productive game and just like that I was at inside now. “
Mike Quinn: “They went to camp with four quarterbacks – Miller, Kordell, Tomczak and me. I think everyone thought I was just going in as the camp arm. I didn’t focus on that and ended up having a really good preseason and made the team as the third quarterback. It was awesome -we had a great season and I learned a lot. Tomczak took me under his wing and showed me how to be a professional.”
First, can you tell readers about your post-NFL career as you establish your coaching career?
After I finished with the NFL I became a graduate assistant Coach at Old Dominion University, coaching the offensive line, I was there for three years and ended up as the tight ends coach and offensive line graduate assistant while getting my Masters. Now, I’m working as the graduate assistant coaching the offensive line at the University of Washington.
Who helped shape your coaching mindset, and how so?
I blended my coaching philosophy from my college and NFL coaches. Sean Kugler taught me certain drills and just how to handle myself in situations. He also showed me how to prepare – how to watch film, take notes, and break down an opponent. Those were the main things.
This is one of the most exciting times for Steelers fans as they build towards another Super Bowl run!
In celebration of the draft, here are some of the exciting and personal draft stories of some former Steelers. With over 400 interviews, Steelers Takeaways tells the personal draft stories of a hundreds of former players, including’;