Donte Moncrief was undoubtedly happy on Thursday when he signed his two-year contract to become the Steelers newest wide receiver.
But there might not have been anyone happier with Moncrief’s new team than his father, Spencer Moncrief. The elder Moncrief has always been a Steelers fan, and now he can root for his son, and his son’s team all at the same time.
“My dad is happy. He is super happy,” said Moncrief. “All he talks about is the Steelers. Even when I was in Indy and we played the Steelers, he said he would still root for me, but he was going for the Steelers to win.
“I am a Steeler now. Now we can get on the same boat.
“He’s always been a Steelers fan. He liked Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis and all those guys. It’s crazy. Four weeks before I even signed he told me I was coming. When I got the call and they told me it was Pittsburgh, I knew he was going to be like, I told you so.”
Moncrief played for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, where he caught 48 passes for 668 yards and three touchdowns while starting 14 of the 16 games he played in.
Moncrief was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the 90th pick overall. He spent four seasons with the Colts, before signing a one-year deal with the Jaguars last year.
With the Steelers he said he expects to play all of the positions and is willing to do whatever is asked of him.
“I’m going to play pretty much all the positions,” said Moncrief. “Come in and do whatever it takes…X, Z, F, whatever they want to put me at. Just come out and make plays and gain trust from Ben (Roethlisberger). Wherever they use me, they’ll put me, and I’ll learn the offense quick and everything will go from there.”
Moncrief isn’t worried about the talk that he is the one who was signed because Antonio Brown was traded. Instead he is just focusing on being himself.
“I’d just say Donte is going to be Donte,” said Moncrief. “AB, like anybody knows, is one of the best or is the best to ever play this game, and you can’t try to be what he was, you can only be what you are. I’m going to come in and play the role that I can play and make the plays that I can make and do what it takes to make this team better.”
He brings to the receiver group experience, and he had to laugh when he realized, going into his sixth season, that he is the most experienced player in the Steelers receiver room.
“It’s kind of weird,” said Moncrief, who is 25-years old. “I have to be the mentor guy, the guy who can push guys and make sure guys do things right. Like coach said already, it’s a great room. You have guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster who is doing things a lot of young guys can’t do. You have a lot of other guys who are hard-working young guys who are going to push me and motivate me and make me go fast every day. It’s going to be a fun room, a fun time. I am ready to get with those guys and show them what I can do.”
When it comes to experience, though, he knows he will be playing with one of the NFL’s most experienced and talented quarterbacks in Roethlisberger and he can’t wait for the opportunity to get on the field with him.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Ben, a Hall of Fame guy,” said Moncrief. “Get a chance to play some years with him and catch a lot of balls. Having a quarterback like Ben, it’s always been a dream to play with a guy like that and come to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I talked to Ben earlier. He texted me. He called first. I couldn’t answer. I was in the doctor’s office. Then he texted me. That was exciting getting a message from Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback. He said he is ready to get going, get some chemistry going and lock in on the plays and get ready. He was telling me he is ready to get going, ready to make some plays, get some throws in and meet up in the offseason and get some chemistry going, get some chemistry going early so it rolls over into the season.”
The Steelers have added WR Donte Moncrief