Rookie wide receiver Sammie Coates might come from a small town, but the Steelers third-round draft pick has big dream and lofty goals.
"I don't care how good I get, I want to be great so I am going to keep getting better every day," said Coates, who grew up in tiny Leroy, Alabama.
Coates is taking advantage of every OTA session, every minute on the field, to improve, to make his goals happen. His plan is simple, improve in some area every day.
"It's about getting better every day," said Coates. "I am taking that mentality that I get better every day, putting in the work every day so I can keep making progress so I can do anything I can to help win."
That progress includes running better routes, being more consistent catching the ball, working on his blocking as far as getting his feet square, using his hands right and even working on the special teams units. And while it's not practice in pads just yet, he is still approaching it with the same intensity and focus he plans on approaching practices during training camp.
"Just doing the little things, looking at the ball all the way in," said Coates. "That is something I have been working on since day one and I am getting better every day. I feel like every day there is room to improve your craft. That is what I have been doing, I have been trying to improve my craft every day. I am going to continue to do it.
"It's still football at the end of the day. You still have to get the detail things right, you have to do the little things right, and show when you get in pads you can make it muscle memory. That is what wide receivers have to do, make it a muscle memory and we are doing it every day."
Coates is relying on the guidance and input from the veterans on offense, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, to help with the learning process, from constructive criticism to teaching him the tricks of the trade.
"He is talking to me. He is telling me what I am doing wrong," said Coates. "I am learning from watching what he says to the older guys, to the veterans. I am learning from everything they do and every little thing they point out I try to fix it.
"Coming from Ben, Antonio Brown, all the older vets, anything they say I take it to heart and do my best to fix it and make sure it never happens again. Those guys have been there and done it. I am just looking up to them so I can make my craft be a whole lot better. I am looking at all of them. All of them have game up underneath them, they have playing time under their belt. It's good to watch whoever is out there because all of them are great players. I am just following behind them trying to be a great player myself."
The Steelers participate in Day 6 of the 2015 Organized Team Activities at the Steelers practice facility.
While Coates is getting lessons from the veterans now, he will be among the ones providing guidance when he helps to host a football camp with some of his former Auburn teammates on July 18 in Hoover, Alabama.
"When I was a kid growing up, I didn't have too many people reaching out to me because of where I came from," said Coates. "I came from a small town. I do whatever I can to go back and show everybody it doesn't matter where you came from, what your situation is, there is a chance for you to do whatever you want. Dream big and reach your goals and set them high."