It wasn't that long ago that seventh-round draft pick Tyler Matakevich, the linebacker from Temple, was taking part in the team's rookie minicamp. And like most of his fellow rookies, when he first hit the field, it was a bit overwhelming.
"I had no idea what was going on," admitted Matakevich. "I was just running around."
Fast forward to a month later, as the second week of OTAs are in full swing, and it's a completely different feeling for Matakevich. His comfort level has soared, and while he isn't where he wants to be yet, he is light years away from his first days on the field.
"I am starting to pick it up," said Matakevich. "The coaches are helping me out. The vets are helping me out when I am out there, letting me know when I am wrong. That is the biggest thing right now, just making sure I am doing the right things and playing fast."
Matakevich knows the best way for him to learn is from his own mistakes. He is going to make them. Every rookie does; veterans as well. But the most important thing is to not make the same mistake twice.
"I am still making some mistakes, but that is part of learning," said Matakevich. "You just have to get out there, get in the meeting room, get them corrected and come back out here and don't make the same mistakes.
"With me I am one of those guys that if I make a mistake, I know it and I won't do it wrong again. There are a lot of things I have to learn. I am trying to get in here, do everything right and try to play fast."
Helping to keep the mistakes at a minimum are Matakevich's teammates, who understand what it was like to be a rookie and are all willing to help out.
"All of them are helping me out," said Matakevich. "When I am out there, I am out there with Steven (Johnson) and we piggy back off each other. Then having Ryan Shazier around, you see how good he is and why he is a pro. I am trying to follow those guys to be like them.
The Steelers participate in Day 4 of the 2016 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
"I am trying to soak everything in I can and be the best I can be."
He is also getting a quick lesson in what it means to be a Steelers player on and off the field. The rookies have already been out in the community multiple times, including a visit to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Mel Blount Youth Home.
"You have to take a lot of pride into getting out into the community and showing them who you are," said Matakevich. "I did that at Temple and I feel like Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the Steelers organization is the same way. It's something I enjoy and look forward to doing."