You missed the first two weeks of the season with the shoulder injury and after that you still didn't get on the field the next four weeks. Was it tough starting your rookie season injured and what was that like trying to earn that game day spot?It was devastating, but you can't get too down on yourself. You have to think God always has a plan for you and through hard work anything can happen.
I was just working hard in practice and making plays on the scout team. I was doing the things the coaches asked me to do. They were telling me if I keep doing what I am doing my chance will come soon. When the chance presents itself, you have to take advantage of it.What did you learn during that time, even about yourself?I learned a lot. I have gone through a lot ever since I started playing football. It has never been easy for me. Similar things have happened before, but you just have to keep fighting. You have to fight for what you love to do.Did it help you to be better prepared, seeing things from the sidelines for a few weeks?Sitting on the sidelines made me sit back and think about all of the work that I have put in, and just keep on doing what I was doing. Once I got my opportunity I promised myself I was going to take advantage of it. I definitely kept my mind right. I talked to Antonio (Brown) about it. We had deep conversations about everything. I stayed focused and listened to him. What were some of the things Antonio shared with you, because he is a player who didn't get on the field right out of the gate either?He taught me to be ready when your opportunity is called. I asked him how he made it through all of this and he said 'I was ready.' That is all he had to tell me and I knew what he was talking about.
How much do you learn from watching him, seeing his work ethic?It's good to see he is not complacent with where he is. He puts in a lot of work and effort in to bettering himself each day. He is a great father, a great role model. He is like a big brother to me and I thank him for everything.
Your first NFL reception is a touchdown. Not a bad way to start. How exciting was that? And through two games seven catches and three touchdowns. Is it nice to have that type of contribution to the team?It was exciting to see the work that I am putting in to practice is paying off in the game. It also lets me know the more work that I put in the better off I am going to be during the games.
It's fun to be able to help my brothers. It's fun to see the hard work is paying off. All of the preparation, listening to the coaches in meetings is paying off in the games.While most are praising you for your performance, you talked about wanting to work more on the JUGS machine this week because of a dropped one. Is that your mindset, always wanting to do more?You always have to want to do more to better yourself because somebody is always trying to take your job. Somebody else is always getting better each day so you have to do the things they are not willing to do. I think about all of the things that could happen if something goes wrong, so that makes me work that much harder to push through everything.What do you still want to keep working on, what areas keep improving?I just want to better myself as a pro, learn the game, be a great father, I love my kids. That is something that is important to me. I want to be a great father and role model for my kids. I want to go out and play hard for the coaches and team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Baltimore Ravens.
What do you think you can bring to the offense now that you are playing?I am going to do everything in my power to make plays when opportunities present themselves. I am going to continue to work hard, continue to gain trust from the coaches and Ben (Roethlisberger) and let everything fall into place.
With so many weapons for Ben to throw to, do you get it that some games you will get a few thrown your way, some none, some more? Also, what's it like to have Ben as your quarterback?I do. It's a team sport, it's not a one person show. You have to be willing to do anything. When your opportunity comes you have to be there for him and back him up.
Ben is a great leader, he is a great father as well, like Antonio. He is a leader in the classroom, in film study, and on the field. It's great to have a leader like that. He is a gunslinger so you have to have quick eyes and hands with him.