LATROBE, Pa. – Artie Burns is getting his feet wet fast at Steelers training camp, and that has nothing to do with the rain that fell on the campus of Saint Vincent College on Saturday morning.
Like his fellow rookies, Burns is seeing the change in the mindset of the team from OTAs and minicamp, to training camp where the intensity picks up.
"Everybody is really getting the feel of it quick," said Burns. "We are getting a feel for the playbook, teammates, and the attitude of the team. Right now we are playing for something. We are playing for a championship. Everybody's intensity has gone up a whole other level. The players, coaches, the staff, the intensity is different. Everybody has a little more urgency than the offseason.
"The veterans are telling us to be ready to come in, focused, be ready to grind and go hard every play."
Burns is ready to do just that, and a big reason is he spent plenty of time this offseason getting familiar with the playbook.
"I am real comfortable," said Burns. "I am trying to just get down the techniques of different schemes, coverages."
Mentally prepared: Rookie linebacker Tyler Matakevich has been focused on learning the playbook since he was drafted by the team, and he is focused on putting that knowledge to work now that camp has kicked off.
"I am pretty comfortable," said Matakevich. "I am getting a look at what we are going to install. I am confident with where we are, but there is a long way to go. It's going to be a long, physical camp. You have to be mentally prepared for it. It's something I am looking forward to, getting the opportunity to do and show everybody I can do it."
Proving himself to others is something Matakevich, the seventh-round pick out of Temple, said he has always had to do and will continue to keep that mindset.
"I am not the biggest, I am not the strongest, and I am not the fastest," said Matakevich. "But when you turn the film on, I want to be all over the place. That is the way I think and I want to play. I have that chip on my shoulder."