LATROBE, Pa. - Brandon Boykin wasn't expecting to be traded, but nor was he complaining about his new NFL destination.
"My first NFL (preseason) game at Philadelphia was against (the Steelers) and I remember being in our stadium still seeing those (Terrible) towels waving around," Boykin recalled today upon his arrival at St. Vincent College. "That's a vivid memory in my mind.
"Just knowing that that fans base is big and what it means and just the reputation that surrounds it, I'm excited to be a part of it because I feel like we share the same mentality."
The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired cornerback Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Boykin, a former fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2012, joined his new team looking ahead, not behind.
"I just talked to Coach (Mike) Tomlin and he just told me that he was excited for me to be here," Boykin said. "Their expectations for me are to come in and just play. They got me because they know that I can make plays and they feel like I can help.
"That's exactly what I'm going to do."
Boykin, 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, spent his first three NFL seasons mostly playing sub-package cornerback and special teams for the Eagles (48 games, six starts, 54 kickoff returns).
"I'm excited, I'm glad to be here," he said. "I've heard nothing but great things. I have a couple former teammates that are playing here. (Outside linebacker) Jarvis Jones, I played with him at Georgia, I know he's here. (Punter) Brad Wing, I played with him a little bit. And (offensive tackle Alejandro) Villanueva, he was there at Philly.
"I saw all those guys today. They told me it's a great place, a great atmosphere, you're going to have fun, you're going to learn a lot but we're going to work hard. As a player - I kinda consider myself a veteran - that's all you want is just a respectable environment, somewhere where you can jell with guys and be able to work towards that common goal of a championship."
Boykin isn't sure what role he'll play with the Steelers, but he maintained he'd play any role enthusiastically.
"I played in every scheme," Boykin said. "I feel like I'm a versatile guy. I feel like that's what I pride myself on, just being able to play everything, whether it's special teams, nickel, inside, outside. I'm going to do whatever they ask me to do and do it with a smile on my face.
"You'll always see me smiling. That's just kinda how I am."