Exclusive with Steelers DB Tryout Malik Boynton

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First, I know it’s been crazy  – a whirlwind. So let’s get straight to camp – let me know how you think you did in mini-camp?

I think it went really well. I made a couple of plays and learned the defense kind of quickly. I can play multiple positions and I really think that helped. I really think it went well.

How did the other guys and coaches help you over the last few days to improve and learn the system?

I think it’s a back and forth. We all supported each other throughout the process. We were all quick to offer constructive criticism to help each other and give each other an opportunity to catch the coaches’ eyes. I worked pretty closely with Tom Bradley and Danny Smith on special teams.

How did the coaches help you – what did they have you work on and what went well for you?

I don’t think it was about working on weaknesses so much, moreso on correcting errors. They coached me up on coverages and techniques they play. I think I did well in the slot – I got my hands on the quick guys and threw their timing off and re-routed some guys.

As far as what I need to work on now. Mostly just the playbook and learning the defense more so I can help more in other areas like man coverage.

How did the Steelers learn about you in the first place?

Honestly, I attribute it to them seeing my performance at the Vanderbilt pro day. Then they went back and I think saw film on me and felt I was a good fit for their defense. At least enough so to get a closer look and see how I respond to coaching.

Who else looked good to you out there?

The quarterback – Mason Rudolph. We was talented and mature. He gave off the vibe of a great leader early on. But there were a lot of great people. The safeties – Edmunds and Allen – they were both really good. Humble and showed off how hard they work.

Well – tell me a bit about those offensive guys – I know it must be hard touting the guys you’re competing against for a spot!

Nah – I still respect their talent and have no problem talking about those guys! I can say though the receiver from Oklahoma State – Washington – he stood out too. And Damoun Patterson worked hard out there. He played well and with a chip on his shoulder. Marcus Tucker too – he was a very polished route-runner. Very good.

Well, that’s not fair – Tucker’s not a rookie!

Ha- very true. But he was really impressive.

So, what’s next for you?

I’m just enjoying the process. Im putting my best foot forward and am blessed with this opportunity to be considered.

And for now I’m still training – waiting for a call and staying prepared. I’ll go get a job and work out as well until something happens. That’s what’s up for me right now.

Lastly, I know you’re probably tired of talking about all the things you’ve had to overcome just to get here. So instead, can you just talk for a second about how those things shaped your approach to the game and who you are, off the field?

Ha – definitely, thanks. I think it just all put a big chip on my shoulder that I couldn’t take off. I’m a competitor and hard worker and it turned me into a humble dude. I respect who I go up against but at the same time I give them all I got. Win or lose I know I give it all I had.

As for me off the field. I’m the light bulb in the room. I give off positive energy. I can be a goofy dude – people like to be around me. I’m honest, but loose. Expect the unexpected with me! I’ll tell you how I genuinely feel.

Read more by former Steelers via the book Steelers Takeaways: Player Memories Through the Decades To order, just click on the book:

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