Steelers, Pitt bond on display at Combine

The University of Pittsburgh and the Steelers have a close relationship, sharing the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Pittsburgh's South Side.

And while at the NFL Scouting Combine, several Pitt players have been asked about their relationship with Steelers players and how they have helped them as they prepare for the NFL Draft and beyond.

Here is a sampling of what the Pitt Panthers are saying about the Steelers.

Dorian Johnson, Pitt guard

Johnson is from nearby Belle Vernon, Pa., and grew up a Steelers fan. One player he enjoyed watching in particular was Maurkice Pouncey, and he wears No. 53 because of the Steelers center.

"I just like the way he plays, athletic," said Johnson. "I think he's great with his hands. His pad level's great. He finishes. I could say the same exact thing about David DeCastro. He's actually one of my favorite players as well, being that he's a guard."

Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt tackle

Bisnowaty is another local player, growing up in Fox Chapel, and he connected with Alejandro Villanueva last offseason when the Steelers' practice facility was under construction and the weight room was moved to the indoor practice field area.

"All of their weight room stuff was in our indoor so we saw them almost every day and he was there every day working out and doing his hand stuff and his foot work," said Bisnowaty. "I was able to play close attention to that and be able to talk to him and it was great. I met him off the field and he's a really nice guy. He's awesome."

Villanueva, whose road to the NFL wasn't easy, offered Bisnowaty some good advice.

"It was staying positive throughout the whole process and have fun with it," Bisnowaty said. "This is a one-time journey and you have to keep improving every day. He does that himself and wanted to share that with me."

James Conner, Pitt running back

Conner has a close connection with many Steelers' players, including Le'Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Cameron Heyward. And while he said he didn't have a meeting scheduled with the Steelers at the Combine, he does think there is some interest.

"I believe the Steelers are interested," said Conner. "I'm playing all out for any team who gives me the opportunity. If it's the Steelers, that would be awesome. I've played at Heinz Field throughout college. If that's how it goes, that's awesome."

Scott Orndoff, Pitt tight end

Orndoff grew up in Pittsburgh, and was always a Steelers fan. He said one of the players he really enjoyed watching was Heath Miller, who he learned from by just watching.

"My favorite tight end growing up was Heath Miller," said Orndoff. "I was a Steelers fan and, I realize it more now than I did when he was playing, but he was just a complete tight end. He was a pass catcher, he was out there first through third down. Anytime they needed him to make a play, he came down with it."

Nate Peterman, Pitt quarterback

Peterman hasn't had a lot of interaction with Steelers' players, but did recall one with Ben Roethlisberger.

"We share a facility, so we were throwing in the summer and he kind of came up behind me and was giving us some help and some tips," said Peterman. 

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