Steelers’ rookies are in the presence of a Pro Football Hall of Famer daily in defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, but they got even more of a lesson in the history of the NFL when they visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
“It was amazing,” said running back
“Walking in there and just imagining if I were in there. It was amazing and fun. It gave me a little bit of motivation. It’s a long time coming, but it’s motivation.”
The rookies toured the Hall of Fame, many of them taking pictures and asking questions, getting a true feel for the tradition of the game.
But it wasn’t just rookies taking part. Wide receiver
“It’s something unique,” said Brown. “To have my jersey there is something special. It’s an honor, something I can show my son, something that is amazing. It was great taking my son there. It helped him see what football history is all about.
“Having my jersey there now gives me even more motivation. You want to be legendary, make a mark on this league. This is just the beginning of what God has in store for me.”
The Steelers started the tradition of taking rookies to the Hall of Fame, and it’s something that the NFL has implemented for all teams to do with rookies as well.
“It shows them the rich heritage we have, the legacy we have had and guys who have gone into the Hall of Fame,” said Ray Jackson, the Steelers’ player development director who handles rookie programs. “I think it means a lot when the guys go there and see two of their owners in the Hall of Fame in Art Rooney, Sr. and Dan Rooney, the coaches in there, Coach LeBeau, and two going in this year with Jack Butler and Dermontti Dawson.
“It’s the rich tradition and understanding what the game is about. Hopefully it brought out the purpose of football is to continue the rich legacy of football the Steelers have.”
Rookies also took part in other activities since they first reported to Pittsburgh, including a visit to St. Vincent College just to get acclimated to the team’s training camp. In addition they have participated in seminars, including financial planning.