First, before we get started, tell me how the Steelers are coping dealing with the major distractions of Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, and Le’Veon Bell not being there so far?
Ha. Well, I don’t want to say that the players don’t care, but the extent that it matters is very overstated. I did write a short while ago that Pouncey, who has the respect of his team, said he wants this team to be ready and expects the absences won’t matter much. I mean, Landry Jones’ cadence is different. The ball comes out differently – with less zip normally And it does lower the quality of the reps the defense faces.
But with guys like Antonio not being here – and Ben. You just saw McGee and Hawkins go down with horrific injuries and you start to understand why they don’t want to show up when there’s no obligation to.
First, can you tell us a bit about coaching – why you decided to become a coach and what excites you about coaching?
I think it’s teaching – helping young people reach their goals and creating goals for them to reach. That’s always the most important part. I have lots to give young people with my years of experience. That’s why I went back to U Mass. I knew I could affect more people there.
First, I know you have your hands in so many things since you retired. Tell me a bit about from the three-hundred foot level on what you’e been working on that you want readers to know about?
When I was out of football I moved from Denver to Southern Louisiana and have been there since 2002. I’ve been in the oil and gas business – I started by working for a man named Bill Jenkins.
I’m now at Troy Construction in Houston in the pipeline industry. It was hard to leave Bill but it was a career move to work at one of the best pipeline construction companies. I’ve been blessed to work for some great people and organizations – the Steelers, Broncos and Bill Jenkins. In Pittsburgh I met a lot of great people and a lot of them helped me to make this transition.
First, tell me a bit about what’s next for you after mini-camp?
I’m just trying to stay in shape and staying prepared for an opportunity. I felt good at Steelers camp. There was great competition there and now I’m just waiting for a call. I don’t have other teams calling yet but my agent is talking to teams and I feel good – he said he’ll be getting back to me with opportunities soon. Continue reading
First, let us know how it went for you in camp?
I enjoyed it. I think it went really good. I flew around the field and had a good camp. It was just great to be a part of it – to be in Pittsburgh and get this opportunity. I was glad I got to experience it and got a lot out of it.
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.
So – tell us how it went in camp?
It went great. It was a great opportunity. I’m new to playing receiver still – I was a quarterback for my first three years in college. Just being here trying out in the NFL…in the past three days the skills I’ve learned as a receiver…I’ve grown exponentially. It’s been so beneficial. An awesome experience learning from so many experienced people here in Pittsburgh.
First, let me know how it’s going there as you get to day three of practices?
It’s going well. Finished up two practices and have one more tomorrow. Collectively we’re getting better as a group of guys at each position which is good for the Steelers.
First – tell me how it went today?
I thought it went pretty good. I just came in for the workout. Ran routes and drills. There wasn’t any timetable for finding out if I will be asked to come back. They told me I was on the short list and they’ll give me a call if they need me.
First, how did day one go with the meetings? They kept you late!
Oh it went great. I’m happy to be here. I met with the coaches today – we went over the defensive plays, learning the playbook so we know what to do when we’re on the field tomorrow. I can’t miss any assigments!
They said they’ll play me at cornerback. Im just going to go and fly around and show them what I can do. To be a well-conditioned athlete and chase the ball.