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Dupree: 'I am going to make an impact'

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It's the day Steelers rookies have waited for since they were drafted a few months ago. Their first training camp practice. Their first chance to show a little more of what they are made of to their coaches and teammates, and for the first time to Steelers fans.

First-round pick Bud Dupree, the linebacker from Kentucky, was among those anxious to get started.

"Today will be a good day," said Dupree. "I am just eager to see how everything goes. I am ready to go out there and compete and get better as a team. We always want to get better each and every day, we take it one step at a time.

"I have been looking forward to it since I got drafted. I am ready to play."

Dupree, who has been relying on fellow linebackers James Harrison and Jarvis Jones to learn the ropes, said the offseason program that included OTAs and minicamp helped prepare him for today.

"It helped me a lot," said Dupree. "Just going with what the older guys say, this is way more physical. I am ready for it. I just have to make sure I am in the playbook a lot and playing full speed every play. I feel comfortable with defense."

He also feels comfortable with himself, and his ability to make an impact on the defense early and show why he was a No. 1 pick.

"I am going to make an impact," said Dupree. "Whatever I need to do to help my team win, I will do. Whatever coach puts me at I am okay, but you always work to start. I think I can make a big impact, along with other guys. Not just me. I see everyone has gotten better. Jarvis has stepped it up. I just want to keep getting better every day."

And today, is the first step.

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