To say it's been a hectic few days for J.J. Wilcox is an understatement.
On Sunday, Wilcox was flying back to Tampa, Florida, thinking he was returning to get ready for the Buccaneers season opener.
But when he landed, he was greeted with news. He had been traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I was on an airplane. I was coming from home to Tampa," said Wilcox. "I didn't hear it until I got off the plane. By the time I landed I heard I was a Steeler. I was excited and ambitious to come here. I am happy to be a part of the Steelers organization. It's one of the best organizations in football and I am excited to be here."
Wilcox had just enough time to head home from the airport, pack some things up, and get right back to the airport on a flight headed to Pittsburgh.
"It was a pretty long day on Sunday," said Wilcox. "I can't explain it. You are not prepared for it, but at the same time you are excited. It's a mixture, a little bit of both. It was a great feeling. I am happy to be here.
"I got here late Sunday night. I came in here early Monday morning. As a fifth year pro coming to this game you have to be able to adjust and be a professional about it. I sat down with the coaches and we got an understanding. They gave me the playbook and said you have to go out there and play and help us. That is my job for the future role."
The Steelers wasted no time getting Wilcox to work. He was on the field Monday, getting adjusted to the defense, as the Steelers prepare to open the season against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
"I was rotating in. it's going good," said Wilcox. "I was trying to get my feet wet. We were all working together. The defensive backs are helping me, linebackers, and defensive line. The coaches are standing behind me helping me. I am excited.
The Steelers prepare for the Week 1 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
"I have some stuff to study, but I am going to give it 110 percent come Sunday against Cleveland. It is just different terminology. Football is football. Defense is defense. But you have your different terminology, different language. That is the thing I have to pick up on as soon as possible. This is a stellar defense and you can't lack at any position or anywhere on the field. I have to pick it up as fast as possible."
Wilcox has a sense of responsibility to live up to the expectations that come with being a part of a Steelers defense. That is why picking things up fast is so important to him.
"They are a great defense," said Wilcox. "This defense here is pretty stellar. You are coming in with some guys who are Pro Bowlers, know how to win, and know how to get the job done. For me it's how fast can I pick up the playbook and help this defense out. That is my job. That is going to be my goal this week.
"We are trying to win Super Bowls here at the Steelers. That is my understanding. I have watched them since I was growing up. I have been watching Ben (Roethlisberger) since I was little, I have him on a poster at my house. It's kind of funny coming here and being with a guy that is a future Hall of Famer, Super Bowl winner, and knows what it takes. I want to do my part."