Leading up to the NFL Draft, current and former Steelers' players will be sharing their Draft Day Memories. In this installment, former linebacker Kendrell Bell shared his memories.
Second Round - 2001
Football players don't often use the word scared, but that is exactly what Kendrell Bell said he was feeling prior to being drafted by the Steelers.
"I was scared," said Bell. "It's the craziest thing, I was so tired. I had people calling me who I thought were dead. So it was overwhelming, draft day. I went to the back and went to sleep. Then I think my coach came I think and said the Steelers are on the phone, so I went and I'm nervous, I'm sweating, like ok, am I really doing this? And Coach (Bill) Cowher, he's like are you ready to be a Pittsburgh Steeler? Yes, yes I am. Tying to say the right stuff. But I was so nervous, so nervous.
"When you go through things like that, it's like you see it, but for you to go through it it's totally different. After saying, yes I would love to be a Steeler everyone went crazy and I went back to my room like wow, I get to be in the NFL. But I was nervous. I had to report to training camp, I'd never really been on my own, and I'm a momma's boy so I'd never really been outside of Georgia. I was kind of introverted so to be around that and so many moving parts. And getting on the field and you see Jerome (Bettis), I was in awe.
"I remember seeing Joey (Porter), I know he was a young player then, but seeing him rush the quarterback and how he was able to use his hands and I was like, my goodness, and do I have to use my hands that much? Because college, it's like, just hit guys. So I remember seeing that and probably, it didn't settle in until goal line with Jerome. Jerome was a big guy. I remember the goal line and telling myself, well if he runs this way, just go hit him. And whatever happens, happens. And I hit him and I won and after that I remember the guys thinking, you can play, and I felt that, they accepted me after that. And everything is history after that."