LATROBE, Pa. - It all changes now. It's no longer football in shorts on the fields at Saint Vincent College. For the Steelers it's football the way it's meant to be – with pads on, with hitting and tackling.
And linebacker Arthur Moats loves it.
Check out Photos of the Pittsburgh Steeler's second day of Training Camp.
"I am happy to put the pads on," said Moats, who signed with the team this offseason as an unrestricted free agent after spending the last four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. "As a football player that is what you live for, especially when you are playing in the trenches.
"When we are in shirts and shorts it's cool, but you want to get physical. I am excited about it."
Moats has been hearing from some of his defensive teammates about what to expect, from the backs on backers drills to drills that pit the linebackers against the tight ends. He is anxious to show what he can do when the hitting begins.
"I am looking forward to it," said Moats. "Any time you get to play in a one-on-one situation, mano a mano, that is what you want. It's your chance to prove yourself."
Moats spent much of the spring learning defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's defense, and while he admits he is still picking things up, he is light years away from when he first picked up the playbook.
"It's a lot, especially when you are reading it by yourself and you are trying to figure out what is he doing here," said Moats. "Then when you sit down and talk with him and you are in meetings and hear from the coaches and players, it helps out a lot and makes you understand it.
"I am definitely getting comfortable with it. There is still room for improvement. Ultimately I feel like I have a better understanding now than I did in the spring of everything and the nuances of it. The goal is to improve every day to make an impact."
It's not just on defense he wants to make that impact, as special teams is going to be a huge key for him.
"I love special teams," said Moats. "It's fun. That is the only play you can go out there, run full speed, and hit whoever. Ultimately you get to make the big plays out there. Every specials teams play is impactful. It's exciting."