Moats: 'It lights the fire more'

Arthur Moats has seen the growth since he first signed with the Steelers in 2014. Each year he has seen the team get closer and closer to their ultimate goal, that being a Super Bowl championship.

The last two years, it ended in the postseason. Close, but no cigar.

This year, though, he feels something different.  

"I am really excited about this season," said Moats. "Every year I have been here we have gotten better and better. Personally I feel like this is the year we are going to win it all.

"We are extremely close on and off the field and I think that is why we have the success we do. Going through this offseason program you can see how hungry everybody is because we have unfinished business."

That unfinished business Moats is referring to is losing to the Denver Broncos, 23-16, in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game last year.  

"It's never going to be out of our blood," said Moats. "We know what we left out there. We know we have to work that much harder to finish those last couple of games and that way we can win it all this year.

"It lights the fire more. We felt like we should have won it last year. We use it as motivation. We know what we are capable of doing. We know what we can do and ultimately we are going to finish it up this year."

That all began in a small way during OTAs, the first time this offseason the team worked in a football setting. It continued during the just completed mandatory minicamp. But will really kick off in July when they report to Saint Vincent College for training camp. 

"Any time we are able to get out there in a football like situation it's always going to help us out and help us get better," said Moats. "For the new guys it's a chance for them to get introduced to the playbook. It's a chance to get out here and show a lot of guys who have already been here what they can do from an athletic standpoint in a football capacity.

"For the older guys, just getting that refresher in and getting back out there. We haven't been on the field in a game like situation, in a practice like situation, since Denver. This was the perfect thing to get ready for camp."

Moats thinks the additions the Steelers have made on defense this offseason, which includes an infusion of draft picks they are getting a first look at in OTAs, combined with the returning veterans, is going to provide the perfect push to get to that next level.

"You look at the guys we drafted, young guys who can bring a lot to the table," said Moats. "The guys already here can make even bigger gains this year. That playoff run helped guys grow a lot. I am excited about what we have this year.

"The years prior to this we have been frustrated because we stumbled. We are a group on the rise knowing what we are capable of doing. All of us are coming to our own and it's our team now. We are excited about it. It's time to take that next step."

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