Matakevich more than just a 40-time

Steelers' rookies take the field for rookie minicamp.

Tyler Matakevich has the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Trophy on his mantle, but he doesn't have his sister's physical skill set.

"My sister got all the speed," Matakevich acknowledged after his first practice with the Steelers at rookie minicamp. "She ran track in college.

"I got the other genes."

That didn't stop the linebacker from Temple from collecting the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America's hardware awarded annually to the nation's Most Outstanding Defensive Player (the Nagurski), and the Maxwell Club's honor reserved for college football's Defensive Player of the Year (the Bednarik).

But at 6-foot and 238 pounds, Matakevich still didn't quite measure up to the NFL Scouting Combine metrics recorded by inside lineacker Reggie Ragland. Ragland was drafted in the second round by Buffalo (41st overall).

The Steelers took Matakevich with their second selection of the seventh round (only seven players were drafted after Matakevich).

"I think they thought I was going to be a 5.0 guy," Matakevich said. "Running a 4.8, that's what I am. You can't teach speed."

Matakevich intends to prove he can play, anyway.

"I'm just going to use my game, my knowledge and my preparation to make up for it," he continued. "When you look at the numbers, yeah, I'm not the fastest guy. But when you turn on the film, I'm all over the place.

"I'm not 6-2. I don't run a 4.3, a 4.4. I just have to use what I have to be successful. I think I did that at Temple. People keep questioning, can he do it at the next level? But I've been questioned my whole life."

Matakevich made 493 career tackles at Temple and in 2015 he was the only player in FBS to lead his team in tackles in every game.

In addition to collecting trophies, he became the first Temple defensive player to earn first-team Associated Press All-America honors (and the Owls' first first-team AP All-American since Paul Palmer in 1986). Matakevich also became the first three-time captain in Temple history (along with teammate Kyle Friend).

With all of that going for him, Matakevich expected more from the draft than a phone call on the seventh round.

"You always have high expectations for yourself," he said. "If you don't have expectations, what's the point?

"I went a different way but I'm more than happy to be here in Pittsburgh. I'm just blessed to be with this organization, to have unbelievable coaches that are already teaching me so much about the game.

"I just want to get better each day."

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