Dupree: 'The defense, we love to hit'

LATROBE, Pa. - The Steelers have taken the field the past two days at Saint Vincent College for training camp, but today, things change.

Today, the players put on the pads for the first time since the 2015 season ended and they are ready to go.

"Now it's time to get to get down to real football with the pads on and see game like experience and get ready for week one," said cornerback William Gay. "It's football. That is what the fans come to look for. They don't want to see us run around in shorts and a jersey. It's fun.

"You want to see the pads on. It's man vs. man. It's a lot of pride going on out on the field. You never want to lose, even if it's to your teammates in practice. We know iron sharpens iron and that is what we are trying to do in training camp."

You can be sure you will hear the pads popping, and the fans reacting every time they do. Just the way the players want it.

"The defense, we love to hit," said linebacker Bud Dupree. "We are ready to put the pads on and go out here and do what we love to do.

"And to have the fans get into it, it's like every day is game day. That makes us play our best. We have people watching. We just have to go out and do what we can."

It's not just the defense that enjoys the hitting aspect, though. The guys on the other side of the ball, especially the offensive line, don't mind putting the pads on and doing their thing.

Center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed the entire 2015 season with a leg injury, joked that he was, "ready to hit anything walking by me." Fellow offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert is also ready to put on the pads, just maybe a little less anxious though than Pouncey.

"I am looking forward to it, just not as much as him," laughed Gilbert. "He has been out of football a season. I understand where he is coming from.

"Everybody feels that way. We were just in helmets during the spring. I know everybody is anxious to get out there and make plays."

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