It's been a hectic 24 hours for Steelers cornerback Artie Burns, the team's No. 1 draft pick, but one that he welcomes with open arms.
"It's crazy to be drafted to a great organization, a great family," said Burns after arriving in Pittsburgh. "As soon as I got off the plane all I saw was black and yellow. It's great to get that kind of support from the fans, from the city."
That black and yellow, or gold in this case, is one of the reasons Burns wanted to be drafted by the Steelers. His youth football team was the Steelers, sporting the same colors, and that turned him on to becoming a Steelers fan.
"First it was the colors. That black and yellow stands out," Burns said with a smile. "But there have been so many great athletes that have come through here and they stay around for a long time here in Pittsburgh. Just watching them growing up, dominating in Super Bowls, they have always been that top end team year in and year out. Now to play for them, it's special."
Burns played running back in youth football, so the first Steelers player he had his eye on was running back Jerome Bettis.
"I loved how aggressive he was," said Burns. "I loved his style and wanted to play that same style. And everyone, including me, keeps an eye on Big Ben (Roethlisberger) when watching the Steelers.
"Then there is the defense. There are so many great defensive players that the list goes on and on. It's great to be a part of it."
Burns said it will be interesting to have to defend against Roethlisberger in training camp and practices after watching him play, but he is ready to do it.
"I watched him and now I have to go against him," said Burns. "I am going to do it like I do everything else, go at it 100 percent. Just get after everybody on the field.
"I just need to go out and play Steelers defense. It's a tough, smash mouth, smart defense. The Steelers are a great defense, known for it, bend but don't break. It means a lot to be a part of it."
Burns, who turns 21 on May 1, said whatever way he celebrates his birthday you can be sure a Terrible Towel will be nearby because he knows he is not just representing the team, he is representing Pittsburgh.
"I am playing for the team, for the city," said Burns. "I want to please everybody in the building, and please everybody in the city. We want the fans out there standing on their feet."