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.
How loose is the rookie group and have you helped the non-local rookies get used to the Pittsburgh area? Show them around?
It’s a close group. It’s the first time for all of us in an NFL camp. That pressure brings us all closer. We all did some community service work together and that helped too. I did give the guys tips and showed them the right areas to go to. Showed them the restaurants on the South Side…
So in terms of what you need to do to make the team. What’s your sense of what you need to work on most to make this team and how does your versatility help? Coaches or players tell you anything?
The coaches just tell me to stay ready and stay in shape. And to know the playbook. We’ll see what happens in camp – camp hasn’t even started yet. But my versatility – yeah – I can play whatever they ask me to do. Whatever opportunity I get I’ll take advantage of. I don’t have any preferences.
Granted it’s very early, but any sense of the team’s focus on improving it’s communication – an issue it faced some last season? And have the vets helped you rookies in that department?
They are all working hard on it – how they communicate – it makes it much easier when they’re all on the same page. The guys are talking so much to each other, telling each other what to do
The vets have helped all of us rookies. They helped break down the plays for us easier. The whole group has been helpful.
As a guy who experienced a lot of change at Pitt – tell me a bit about the program now and the direction int’s going?
Oh it’s a real good direction now. Coach Dooz – he’s a real awesome guy. A good example is he brought back the throwback jerseys. That was big for the Pitt alumni – he really has out excitement back in the program.
Whitehead, Maddox – those are a couple of guys to look out for.
Lastly – knowing how many undrafted free agents make it as a Steeler – what does that do for your mindset as you look to make the team?
I need to step up my game at every level, wherever they put me. Being in Pittsburgh puts me in a good position and hearing about how undrafted free agents make it just motivates me more. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.
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