Wake Forest, North Carolina
What are you doing now?
Charles Johnson and I started the Carolina Skills Academy, teaching kids the fundaments of the game. We felt that was lacking in our area. We have a lot of talent, but kids don’t have the fundamental skills. I started a construction company too so I am staying busy.
What is the fondest memory from your playing career?
My six years here out of my 12 years in the league were the best. Just the camaraderie of these guys and this city always stands out. It’s amazing the fan base across the country. The stability of the guys I played with, it was the same guys the six years so we got close. We had some great battles on the field, even though we came up short when it came to getting to the Super Bowl, but day in and day out it was as pleasure to come to work.
What was your best game?
When we played Jacksonville and I had two interceptions for two touchdowns. It stands out in my mind. I don’t remember how I graded out that day, I might not have graded out well. But it’s not something that just happens week-in and week-out. That stands out. I tried to be as consistent as I could. I think I had some good years.
What made playing for the Steelers special?
It starts at the top down. Mr. (Dan) Rooney, it doesn’t get any better than him. He is a class act. Coach (Bill) Cowher was a first class man. All of the coaches were there for the team. You could only do the same thing as a player. It started from the first time meeting Mr. Rooney until I left the facility, he was the same person. You couldn’t ask for a better person.
Teammate you were closest to during your playing days?
It would be Chad Scott and Deshea Townsend. We were going through the same thing. As defensive backs you can’t help but be close. We play a unique position.
Teammate who was the biggest character?
Chad Scott. He had a true passion I never ran across. He got it going each and every day. Outside of Chad it would be Lee Flowers. He always kept something going. There are other guys, when you you bring the best players around, you are going to have characters.
Do you still keep in touch with former teammates?
I do, guys like Jerome Bettis, Kordell Stewart, Wayne Gandy and Chad. We do keep in touch.
Do you still follow the Steelers and if so, how closely?
It wasn’t hard for me to transition to a fan. I was a fan before I became a pro. My son and I lock ourselves in the theater room and watch the Steelers games.
What was it like to come back to Pittsburgh for in the fall for the Alumni Weekend?
It was exciting, seeing the guys and making the connection again. There is a kindred spirit where it comes to football players at the professional level. I know exactly what they are going through. When I watch the games I watch them differently. I understand what they are doing. It was special being at the game.