The following is the latest installment of Getting To Know, a chance to learn a little more about Steelers’ players who were added to the roster over the last few years.
Years Pro: 8
How Acquired: UFA, 2014
Football Mentor/Inspiration: I’ve definitely had a few. My high school coaches were really great mentors on and off the field. My special teams coach, who is now the head coach at my high school in Pittsford, N.Y., Keith Molinich, was my academic counselor, as well, which shows how versatile he was in being able to help people out. He’s actually a really big Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He was pretty psyched when I signed here.
Proudest Football Moment/Memory: Being drafted back in 2007 was pretty special for me, just to seal the deal that I was going to be able to play on the next level. As a punter, especially, you never know. Even if you feel like you can do it, it’s always kind if a crapshoot to make it in; there are only 32 guys. The finality of coming to fruition, ‘Hey, I’m going to be an NFL punter,’ was pretty special.
Favorite Teammate: There are a few good ones. I had a really good teammate who was a groomsman in my wedding. He’s still the kicker with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Josh Scobee. We kind of clicked right from day one when I started up with that team. Another good mentor and really good friend who I had in Chicago is (long snapper) Pat Mannelly. He has the most years of service in the history of the Bears, 16. Really great guy, we clicked fairly well when I signed on with Chicago.
Initial NFL Attraction: I grew up in upstate New York and I was a really big Bills fan. I was about seven-years old when they went to their first of four Super Bowls and we had a Super Bowl party every year. I know they didn’t win, but it really got me interested in football. It was a passion of mine to play football and be like them.
Football Philosophy: I try to keep the mentality of a golfer. They parallel each other, kicking and punting and golf. Try to stay as consistent as possible, to not get too high during the highs and too low during the lows. That usually ends up breeding success in our line of work.
Impression of Pittsburgh: I was really impressed. I was actually here on a visit before I got drafted. The facility’s great, the community’s great, the city and fans are the best in the biz.
Perception of Steelers: You think of the Steel Curtain. You think of the defense. It almost transcends the team and goes through the fans. It’s a hard city, you have be tough and I think a lot of the Pittsburgh fans think of themselves as tough people, it should be a tough team.
Goals/Aspirations for 2014: I want to be as consistent as possible. I want to contribute to a winning team. And I want to do that every game, every punt.
Career Goals: I want to keep being successful. Some people may think my more successful years are in the past. I’m here to show them otherwise.