Thank you for sticking around. We are pleased to announce our first unrestricted free agent signing of the 2008 season. We are welcoming Mewelde Moore, a running back from the Minnesota Vikings. Mewelde will be joining us in adding to our depth in the back field and also provide us another punt and kick returner. We are very happy to welcome Mewelde Moore.
I am happy to be here. It is a wonderful organization. I have been treated like I have been a babe and raised by this organization all my life and I am just happy to be here.
What happened to your playing time in Minnesota?
As far as just being able to go out there and make plays, every opportunity and every chance that I get, I have been fortunate to go out there and make plays and make things happen.
Tampa Bay was interested in you back in October, what happened?
I don't really know. That is not really my concern. I just go out and play football. I enjoy playing the game. I am here and going to get another opportunity. It is a privilege to be here, to be able to play the game.
Can you describe yourself?
I can change it up. I am fast, I have the ability to make a guy miss and at any given time, I can also lower a little hit and run with a little power, as well.
Will you return both punts and kickoffs?
I plan on doing whatever the Coach wants me to do. It is up to him. That decision is up to him, what they want me to do. I plan on being able to get back there. Returning is something I can do and playing running back is something I also do.
What about this organization that made you want to sign?
I think it was more of the history and also my history with Coach Tomlin. I know he is a great coach, a great man, a man with integrity and somebody who is a winner. That is all I want to do, is to play winning football and I think this is the best place. The history, of course, you grew up knowing the "Steel Curtain" as a boy and watching Terry Bradshaw when I was a boy, and them winning so many championships, it is an awesome opportunity.
Does knowing Coach Tomlin make the transition easier?
As far as just getting in there, I pretty much know his philosophy and it is just about going in there and doing my job and taking care of the things that I need to take care of and help our team win.
What impact does seeing the five trophies have? Does that affect your mindset?
Yes, definitely. Here, people expect certain things here. That is something you expect out of yourself and that is something that you want to be a part of.
How do you see your role?
I see my role, once again, as everything and anything that the coach wants me to, I want to go out there and do 100 percent, and be able to be effective at it.
Did you visit anywhere else?
Do you know Willie Parker well?
I know of Willie Parker. I know about him as far as his talents and skills. I watched him on film and stuff like that. I haven't met the man yet. I am anxious to meet him.
Will you complement each other?
I think we will complement each other very well. He goes out, he does his job and makes plays and I go out there and make plays and move the chains. I think we will do well together.
Do you come in here with the mindset that he is the man and you are here to complement him?
Yes, definitely. Willie is an all-pro guy, a pro bowler. He has the ability to hit the long home runs, the long balls, and he runs in and outside of tackles. He makes a lot of plays happen and I am coming in and stepping in and help complement everything he does.
Do you think your personality meshes with the personality of the team?
Yes, definitely. I am a total team player. I always give myself up for the team. That is something that you can go and look at the history of what I have been able to do with opportunities is that I don't go out there and be a me guy, I'm not an I guy, I am a team guy. Whatever the team needs, that is what I try my best to do to make sure the team gets.
Are you glad this process is behind you?
What relationship did you have with Coach Tomlin?
Everybody had a great relationship with Coach T. He always made himself available. At any time, you knew he would talk to us, no matter what was going on and any situation, it was very comforting. Somebody that does those types of things, only good things are going to happen for that person.
Do you have a jersey number picked out?
I have the number that I want. I want 21.
Why number 21?
It was one of my old high school numbers. A lot of kids back home, they look up to me and I want to make sure they can still see that.
What are your thoughts about Mewelde Moore?
I will start with Mewelde, the man. He is what he appears to be. He is a quality person. He is an unselfish team football player. I witnessed that first hand in working with him in 2006. He has a unique skill set. He is a guy that is capable of doing a lot of things to help us win. He has a reputable resume as a punt returner, he is kickoff return capable. He is a running back who has unique skill sets in that he has very good hands out of the back field. He has things that are potentially attractive to us, the details of his role will be etched out but one thing I know about this guy is that he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Pittsburgh Steelers win. That is what is most important.
Is the goal to lighten the load on Willie Parker a little bit?
We are not concerned with lightening the load and things of that nature at this point. He is in the rehabilitation process. We are going to let that process run its course. The acquisition of this man is about the skills that he brings to the table that can help us be a complete football team.
Can you talk about the significance of today with Ben (Roethlisberger) being signed long term and your first free agent?
It is a heck of a day. I can't wait until tomorrow. It has been a good week thus far. It is a significant day for us. Ben is our quarterback. He is going to be out quarterback for a long time. Of course, we are all excited about that and we can put that element of this off season behind us and focus on what lies ahead, and that is the challenges that the 2008 season presents. Giving him an additional viable option like Mewelde, who is capable of breaking down linebackers and catching the ball is going to help.
Do you feel that free agency has been good so far?
We are just getting started. We will see how it shapes out.
Can he help in short yardage?
We will etch out the details of what he is capable of doing for us, but his skill sets are what I mentioned earlier.
Did you push to sign him?
We make collective decisions. We succeed and fail together. I was a player in that particularly because I know the character of this man. So we are happy to have him.
Was Ben's deal hanging over your head?
There is a lot that hangs over my head. It is football. The negotiations process as far as I know, went rather smoothly, I didn't anticipate it going any other way. I am glad that we were able to get it completed and am excited about moving forward.
Will there be more signings?
We will meet again tomorrow. Keep your schedule clear. We'll see what happens. Don't hold your breath, though.