By Teresa Varley
It was the first day on the job for the Steelers rookies on Thursday as they all reported to the team's practice facility to go through the basics, from being measured for a helmet to having their head shot taken and then off to their first team meeting.
For quarterback Kevin McCabe reporting for duty was a dream come true. The former California (Pa.) quarterback signed with the Steelers as rookie free agent after the draft and couldn't be happier being a member of his hometown team.
"Being around here, growing up a Steelers fan is a dream come true," said McCabe, who lives about 20 minutes away from the practice facility in Gibsonia, Pa. and played for Pine-Richland High School. "Just being around here the culture of it is pretty easy to embrace. Everywhere you go it's black and gold, even in the offseason. Now I am competing for a spot on the team.
While the majority of his fellow rookies had to spend time on a plane today, McCabe simply hopped in the car and drove in to work. And that is when it hit him where he was actually heading.
"It hit when I was leaving my mom and dad's house," said McCabe. "My friend called and asked what I was doing and I told him going to work. When I pulled into the complex I knew it was about conducting myself as a professional.
"I am riding a little bit on the cloud right now, but you have to come down. It's fun to ride that wave a little bit, but there is a reason why they are bringing you in here and it's for competing and making this team better. That is my main focus right now. This is my childhood team, but now it is a business. You put that aside and now you go to work."
McCabe led California to a 12-2 record last season and a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Title, while completing 253 passes for 3,214 yards and 32 touchdowns. He now plans on soaking up as much information as he can from veteran quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch
"I am going to be a sponge," said McCabe. "I am going to pick up the positives that they do and compete every day. I know I am not going to come in here and take Ben's spot. That is not my goal. I want to come in here and be me and hopefully that is good enough.
"I am looking forward to it. I can't wait to strap up the black and gold."