Nelson is shining a positive light

We all know how people like to share their thoughts on social media, let their feelings be known and express themselves, for good and bad.

Steven Nelson is no different.

Late Wednesday night he took to Twitter and did just that.

Nelson, who signed with the Steelers last offseason after spending his first four years in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs, expressed his love for his teammates, the Steelers organization, and everything he has experienced since joining the team.

"They let you be yourself," said Nelson. "It's not like walking on eggshells. Mr. (Art) Rooney and his family always come down. He is always in the building speaking to us. It feels like home from top to bottom. Coach (Mike) Tomlin is a very down to earth guy. He is a player's coach. In our whole locker room, organization, from the janitors, to the lunch staff, to the training staff, we are all one big family and I felt like I should shine some light on that. I am just trying to shine positivity the best way I can. I just wanted to show appreciation that I felt that energy my first year in Pittsburgh. You can't forget the fans too. They have been solid this whole time too."

Positivity. That is something that Nelson has always exuded. It just takes talking to him for a minute or two to notice it. He has an uplifting spirit, a kind heart that shines through. And at a time when that is needed most, his goal is to make sure positivity shines as the country continues to mourn the death of George Floyd as well as work to make a change moving forward.

"That is the good thing about being a professional athlete," said Nelson. "We have a big platform to speak out for people, voice our opinions and thoughts and create a change the best way we can. A lot of guys have big followings on social media. That is a great start for guys like myself to spread positivity and love throughout our country. God knows we all need it right now in spite of what is going on."

While the Steelers are working in a virtual world, with their main point of contact zoom meetings, they are still talking about the issue, still bonding together to make a difference in a positive manner.

"We have had a few discussions about everything," said Nelson. "We are all about bringing positive change. Try to be the best people we can be. Being outlets for our country. Trying to use ourselves to bring everybody together. We have been talking about everything that is going on.

"I do think it is time for a change in our country. We are all trying to do our job. Nobody wants stuff like this to happen. We are all trying to do what we can on the side.

"This stuff has been going on before all of us. I think things always have to get worse before they get better. If this is what it takes, if people have to protest to send a message, that is what it is. I am all for positivity and just trying to do things the right way. This is not just in America. You see protesters all around the world. It's a big deal. If it doesn't change a lot of it, I think it changes a great amount of it. I think it's good."

Nelson, who heard the comments made by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and also heard his apology, said he doesn't hold grudges, but it's also going to be hard for him to come back from that. Nelson said inside the walls of the Steelers locker room is where he feels unity is strong, where they work together with a common bond.

"I always felt like in the locker room that has been a place for unity," said Nelson. "You do have all types of races you are around. You build that brotherhood. We don't feel racism that much inside the locker room. We can joke around with each other and nobody gets offended. That is what you want to have when it comes to your country.

"With our platform we do have a voice and we can try to spread the same love we have for one another in the locker room to the whole world."

Nelson is missing that locker room feeling these days. He is missing being around his teammates, as the COVID-19 pandemic has made the offseason one where the locker room family is only able to connect virtually.

"It's one of those things where veterans and leadership take place," said Nelson. "Guys are doing that on our team. Guys are planning little small practices to get guys around each other, just to build the camaraderie back up, walk over old plays, if guys have questions. Just to be around the guys.

"There is not a better feeling than being around the guys. The zoom meetings are only going to get you so far. The veteran guys, like myself, are trying to find ways to combat that the best way we can.

"I am super ready (to get back with them). I have been having that itch to get back on the field. I don't care if it's flag football. There is no better feeling to get out there with your guys and compete against other teams and go through those hard camp days and stuff like that. It builds character, builds fight, builds a lot of things. Not just the football part. I am very anxious to get back. Hopefully that will be soon."

One of the reasons Nelson can't wait to get to work with his teammates is that he sees the potential that exists on the defense and the team in general. He knows they can go far with the talent they have, and he is ready to get it rolling.

"I think we are going to take it up another level with the guys we have coming back," said Nelson. "We have a great locker room. Guys have been communicating the whole time, trying to bring guys along. These zoom meetings with our coaches have been very helpful. We are correcting all of our mistakes. We are trying to get better as a unit.

"Think about college. You are there with guys for four years and you build that brotherhood. Each year your team gets a little better because you are playing with your brothers, you trust each other. That has a lot to do with it. We were all kind of new last year. We were able to have a tremendous amount of turnovers. That is rare to do. I think this year we will take that next step because we have played around each other and have that experience. We will correct what we have to correct and move forward.

"I think we are arguably in the top category (on defense), wherever that may be. We are stacked from top to bottom. Even non-starters are very talented. We have great coaching. We definitely have a group to take us all of the way. That speaks volumes. If we can duplicate and get better than what we did last year, especially with Ben (Roethlisberger) coming back, that will change a lot. We just have to see what happens."

One of the things Nelson would like to see happen in 2020 is him having more splash plays. Now, don't for a minute think he didn't make plays. He gave up zero touchdowns in 2019. Zero. But what everyone sees, and what likely kept him from earning a spot in the Pro Bowl, was just one interception. But it's hard to pick off a pass when you aren't targeted.

"I think that is a major part of why I didn't get selected in the Pro Bowl. The interceptions, the big plays, I was lacking in that area," said Nelson. "It's hard to go out there and say I am going to get some interceptions. You have to get targets. I have had conversations with my inner circle. Maybe I have to do some talking this year, get guts to throw at me. I do feel like this year I will get more than one interception at least. It should be a better year for me in that area."

Nelson said he can't wait to work hand-in-hand with fellow corner Joe Haden again, the two teaming up to be quite the duo.

"Joe is my guy. We are like Batman and Robin," said Nelson. "Ever since I got to Pittsburgh, he has been a genuine guy, all around, on and off the field. We bounce off each other. We are both highly competitive guys. We feed each other on the field. If he makes a play, I feel like I have to make a play. We pair together very well."

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