Safety Will Allen was all smiles and for good reason.
The 12th year safety, who was an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year deal to stay with the Steelers, remaining exactly where he wanted to be.
"I am just thankful that the Lord has provided and that I am here and I can help the team win," said Allen. "I appreciate everything. I appreciate playing football. I appreciate playing for the Steelers. Everything about it is really good."
Allen, who was originally drafted by Tampa Bay, spent his first six seasons with the Buccaneers before signing with the Steelers in 2009 as an unrestricted free agent. He left after the 2012 season, signing with the Dallas Cowboys, but it was a short stint. He was released by the Cowboys just a little over a month into the 2013 season, and the day after he was waived, he was signed back by the Steelers.
Top Photos of defensive back Will Allen.
Last season he stepped in when the recently retired Troy Polamalu was injured, starting four games, but the majority of his playing time was on special teams or in a reserve role.
Allen has gone from a starter in the league, to a player who is willing to do whatever is asked of him, and does it with grace, humility and without ever uttering a negative word.
"I am happy to do it," said Allen. "I even like having more of a role, accountability and responsibility. I am definitely looking forward to that."
Allen, who has played in 163 games in his 11 seasons, has 96 career tackles, six interceptions, 17 pass breakups, and three forced fumbles and recoveries.
He brings more than just numbers, though. He brings experience. He brings leadership. He brings guidance to younger players. If you are looking for the definition of team player, you have found it in Will Allen.
"I just want to help the team win any way I can," said Allen. "I will do whatever is asked. I have always operated that way. I just work hard at what I do. The game can put you in position to help others and help my teammates along the way as well."
And if he is called upon to start, called upon to be the go-to guy at safety, especially with Polamalu gone, he can do that as well without a problem.
"I have proven that year in and year out," said Allen.