By Teresa Varley
As a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, watching Steelers games was something Ryan Mundy loved to do on a Sunday afternoon.
Like all kids, he had his favorite players, including Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake and Jerome Bettis.
But there was one player who he took a special liking too, so much so that he wanted his jersey.
"Ironically I liked Barry Foster and now I am wearing No. 29," said Mundy, referring to the former running back who wore No. 29 as well. "I remember I begged my grandmother to get me a Barry Foster jersey and it's ironic I am wearing No. 29 now."
Mundy proudly wore that Foster jersey, but now is even prouder to have his name on the back of the jersey. Mundy, who played at Woodland Hills High School and then attended West Virginia, was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round in 2008. He made an impression early, but suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason opener and was released. He was later re-signed to the team's practice squad in November.
With a second chance this year, Mundy made the most of it, making an impression on the coaches. That is why come cut down day last Friday he didn't get too nervous, knowing he did what he could.
"I was at peace because I knew I did the best that I could," said Mundy. "Any time you go out there and do the best you can and do all you can, it's out of your hands. I was comfortable with that. Whatever happened, it was going to happen."
What happened is the 6-1, 209-pound safety made the 53-man roster. While others packed their bags like he had done a year earlier, he was off to a team meeting with far fewer players than just a few days earlier.
"I was thankful," said Mundy. "At the same time it's a reality check. This is a business. You have to make the most of your opportunity. I am excited about the season and looking forward to doing big things."
And he is looking forward to doing them right in his own hometown, wearing a jersey that looks very familiar.
"I am just happy to be in the NFL," said Mundy. "I am sure I would feel the same if I was on another team. It's a lot more special because I get to play for the team I grew up watching. My family and friends are right here and they are all in my corner."