Intangibles matter

They’ve been brought aboard because they can play, but also because of what they can bring to the table.

In the cases of inside linebacker Mark Barron, wide receiver Donte Moncrief and cornerback Steven Nelson, that includes a grasp of intangibles as well as an ability to cover, catch or tackle.

The first three additions to the Steelers this offseason via unrestricted free agency have that in common.

Barron, 29, entered the NFL from Alabama.

He came to the Steelers after stops in Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

Most recently he played for the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

For Barron, battling the Patriots for a Lombardi Trophy was an experience but not the pinnacle of his seven-year NFL career.

“It was a great experience,” Barron assessed.

But …

“I’m most definitely not the type of guy to just be happy to be in a Super Bowl,” Barron continued. “I want to win a Super Bowl if i’m going to it. The experience, it was a nice experience. I’ve been to a few college championships and I won a few. So it was kind of similar to that, just on a bigger scale.

“But that whole experience kind of has a negative imprint on me because we didn’t win it.”

Moncrief, 25, played previously for the Colts and Jaguars.

He values leadership, and he’s prepared to provide it after having benefited from being on the receiving end initially in Indianapolis.

“I had Reggie,” Moncrief explained. “Reggie Wayne was in the (Colts’ receivers) room, so he was able to mentor me and push me and tell me about things, about everything. Just having him in the room, it helped me. It helped my game a lot.

“The way that he pushed me every day, I can say so many things about Reggie, the way he helped me. So just having Reggie and the older guys in the room I could look up to, it made things easy.”

Nelson, 26, is a native of Warner Robbins, Ga.

To Nelson, relationships matter.

He spent the last four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

As a result, Steelers outside linebacker and Macon, Ga. native Bud Dupree is a player with which Nelson has already established a bond.

“I’ve known Bud just through mutual friends for quite a while now,” Nelson said. “He’s a Georgia boy, too. I kind of keep close relationships with all the Georgia guys across the league. We actually swapped jerseys one year when we played.

“We spoke for a little bit (after Nelson agreed to terms with the Steelers) and he was just congratulating me and told me ‘let’s get to work.’”

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