Linebacker Bud Dupree has been a key part of the Steelers defense, and on Monday the team announced they have exercised the fifth-year option from his rookie contract.
"It's good news," said Dupree. "I get another two years with my teammates, which will be fun. It's two more chances to win the Super Bowl. It's a great time."
And Dupree is hoping it goes even beyond those two years, as playing for the Steelers is special to him.
"The tradition is great," said Dupree. "The hard-nosed approach, the fan base we have. The coaching staff we have instills in us to be the best we can be. The tradition from the older guys. They are the ones who made the legacy. We are following in their footsteps. We can't make those guys mad in any way.
"The comradery that we have, everyone is close on and off the field. We talk to each other about everything. It's always a great time, even when we are around each other and it's not about football. That is the type of brotherhood we have.
"I want to make sure I am playing to my best capability, so I can make sure the belief they show in me is right, and that I keep pushing that."
Dupree was the team's No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the 22nd pick overall. He started 24 of the 38 games he has played in his first three seasons, including starting 15 games last season. In his three seasons he has 90 tackles, 67 of them solo stops, 14.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He finished the 2017 season with 40 tackles and a career-high six sacks, while the Steelers defense set a record with 56 sacks.
"We are capable of doing a lot more," said Dupree. "We can be the best. That is what our goal is. That's what everyone went into this offseason with. Everybody believes in themselves. We just have to make sure we go out there and take it one game at a time, one practice at a time and focus on our strengths, and our weaknesses."