Last year was a series of ups and downs for you. What was that like, being released and re-signed so many times?
It was hard. It was tough to try and figure out where I fit here and if they really wanted me here. But all of the hard work paid off.
How do you deal with the mental part of that?
You just have to push every day, work harder. The key for me was working harder and getting better. If you do that, it will pay off for you.
How much hungrier did what you went through last year make you going into camp this year?
It made me 100 percent hungrier. Last year I came in out of shape and not knowing really what to expect. This summer I worked real hard to come in and be prepared for this training camp.
How different was cut down day this year vs. last year?
It was a lot different. I kind of knew I made the team by the time the final cut came. Last year I was kind of nervous, I figured I might be cut with how many running backs were here. I remember sitting in the training room, icing my ankle, and they told me to come upstairs with my playbook and I was like, ‘aww.’ This year it was easier and I was more relaxed.
What was it like the first regular season game, taking the field and carrying the ball?
It was great. It was my dream coming true, the dream I had since I was five years old. I almost had tears coming out of my eyes running out into the stadium. I finally actually felt like a member of the Steelers.
How great is it to be able to come into a game and get that yard or two, or even more, to move the chains?
It’s great. Most of the time that is the difference between winning and losing, is converting those third downs on short yardage. Last year we struggled in that. I am trying to be the guy to help get those yards and get the wins.
What do you look for when you are standing in the backfield waiting for the ball to be snapped?
I am trying to read my keys, understand what the defense is doing, look at the linebackers and see if anybody is on the blitz, read the defensive line, make sure that they aren’t in position to do any stunts. You see the look in their eyes. Some guys you get late in the game and you can see they are ready to quit, and some guys you can see they are determined. That says a lot about a guy.
Do you feel the pain when you get hit hard right away or does it set in later?
Some of them you feel right away, but most of them you feel a day later, two days later. That second day after a game you feel everything.
What is your game-day ritual like? Do you have any superstitions, or are you a creature of habit?
I come in and get in the hot tub and read the game program. I get stretched by Garrett Giemont, get taped and get ready.
What do you do to get away from football?
I go home and play PlayStation. Just chill at my house and relax. Any time I have the chance to go home I like to do that and be with my family.