View photos of Steelers 2016 6th round draft pick, OLB Travis Feeney.
Travis FeeneyLinebackerWashington6-4, 226Richmond, Calif.Pinole Valley6th Round – 220th Overall**
Voted a team captain and an All-Pac-12 second-team selection…finished third in the Pac-12 in sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (17.5)…started 12 of 13 games, compiling 56 tackles (40 solo)…totaled seven stops, including three behind the line of scrimmage and 2.5 sacks vs. USC earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week accolades…tabbed Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for 11 tackle, 2.0 sack, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup performance vs. Arizona…had three stops in the Apple Cup victory over Washington State, and made three tackles, including a sack, in the team's Heart of Dallas Bowl game win vs. Southern Miss…named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player at the school's postseason awards ceremony.
Played in all 14 games, making nine starts, registering 60 tackles (43 solo) and 4.5 tackles for loss...recorded a sack and three stops vs. Arizona State…returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown at Colorado, to go along with five tackles...made two tackles in the Apple Cup win at Washington State, and three vs. Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl…tabbed the school's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player at the postseason banquet.
Appeared in 13 games, making two starts…had four tackles in the season-opening win vs. No. 19 Boise State…led the team with six stops, and a fumble recovery, vs. Idaho State…recorded six tackles, including a five-yard sack, in the Apple Cup win vs. Washington State and two stops in the Fight Hunger Bowl victory vs. BYU.
Earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 as well as honorable mention Academic All-Pac-12…started nine-of-13 games played…recorded a sack, two tackles for loss and five stops along with a forced fumble vs. San Diego State…amassed a season-high 12 tackles at Oregon…led the defense with 10 tackles in victory at Colorado, along with a sack…totaled nine tackles, including a stop for a loss vs. Boise State in MAACO Bowl game.
Redshirted as a true freshman…won the Mark Drennan Defensive Scout MVP award at the program's postseason awards banquet.
Earned first-team All-East Bay and first-team All-Metro (Bay Area) as a senior…MVP of the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League…led the Spartans to an 11-1-1, 6-0 in league action, and to the CIF North Coast Section Division II semifinals in senior campaign…member of the 2010 ACCAL championship squad.
Post-Pick Press Conference
Joey Porter Re: Travis Feeney
We picked Travis Feeney up from Washington. I think he is a good linebacker. He definitely adds depth to the position. He is a smaller guy but he runs really fast, he's an easy runner. He really strikes you when he puts a hit on you. I think he adds to our special team's depth and hopefully our pass rush. He is a good pickup for us and I'm happy to work with him.
Re: Feeney's speed:
Yes, he can run. That's one of the things that jump out at you on tape is how easy he runs. You can never have enough speed on defense.
Re: Feeney's slower shuttle time:
No, he is actually really athletic. I got out of comparing shuttle time to 40-times. I just have to look at his body movement and how he moves on the football field and what kind of demeanor he plays with. He checked off all the boxes on how he plays, the speed he brings and how he plays the game. He plays passionately. I try to stay away from that comparison. I'm not going to ask him to do shuttles on the football field. I'm just happy to have him. Hopefully he comes in and picks up the defense and figures out what it is. I'm going to ask him and hopefully this will be the beginning of something special.
What does he need to work on the most?**
He has good body control, really good body lean in the pass rush. It's not new to him. He has had success at rushing the passer. That's always a good sign when you have someone who comes in and adds a little bit of that in their game. You can always add more. But what he has right now, I think is good enough. We will add to it.
What's an ideal weight for Feeney?
I don't know what his walking around weight is. I know what I like to play with, but at the same time, you have different players play at different weights. He'll play at the weight suggested to him from the coaching staff and try to meet what makes him play at his best. I don't want a guy that feels like he has to come in and pick up so much weight to play effectively. That's not always the case. The way the game is spread out, speed is everything. I don't want to do anything to hurt his wheels. I want him to be ready to play the way he knows how to play and the way he played at the University of Washington. If he can make that transition and give us the same type of intensity that he played with, he'll be just fine with his weight.
When you pick a guy in the sixth-round, do you also have to evaluate them as a special teams player?
He runs too well to not be a special teams player. Special teams is all want, too. It's not like you go to college and say I want to be the best special teams player. You become a star in college, make it to the NFL and realize that you're just a special teams player. You don't say you want to be an NFL special teams player. You want to be the star of whatever college team you play on. You just become humbled. When you get to the NFL, there are a lot of guys on the team already to where you have to earn your keep on special teams. He runs too well for him to not be willing to do what we ask of him on special teams. Special teams is really nothing but a personality. It's part of the job. It's part of the game. It helps us win. I think the guys that love to play football will do whatever it takes to get on the football field.
Do you see Feeney as a 3-4 standup edge guy or some kind of piece you can use in a four-man front?
We look at him and try to do everything that we do with our other outside linebackers. He'll be asked to the same thing that everyone at the same position is asked to do. If we found out that he does something special, we'll find a special position to put him in. Right now, we like him as an outside linebacker. He'll have his preference to play right or left. Whatever he does best, we'll put him at that position and go from there.
How does a guy like this drop to the sixth round?
The draft is crazy. You never know what's going to happen. There are a lot of guys sitting there right now thinking they should have went yesterday but haven't. You never know what's going to happen in the draft. You will have good guys get passed over and you're going to have some guys that you don't think are good go early. That's part of it. The thing about the draft is you just need one person to like you. It doesn't matter what team that comes from. You just need one person to fall in love with you at the right position. Some guys get that early. Some of those guys get looked over. We're happy to have him. We're happy that they did pass on him so we can have something special with him.
How does the defensive staff feel about the draft so far?
It's looking very defensively. It's been a while since the offense carried us. This is Pittsburgh, but they did last year. They were a strong part of our team. That's always a good thing, but in Steeler Nation we still have pride in our defense. We always want to have pride in our defense. We were happy where we finished last year, but it wasn't enough. If we get our defense back to where it used to be, I think we'll have the pieces to do something special.
Do you think these guys can be immediate contributors?
That's what we're hoping when we take a guy no matter what round, especially on defense. You don't look to redshirt anyone on defense. You look for them to come in and contribute in some type of way. They know that when we get them. Competition is always going to be the key that drives them. We're going to have some guys in positions at home looking at the draft now. It's going to make it competitive. We're looking for this guy Travis to come in and help us right away and we hope he accepts the challenge. We hope he's happy to be here and we are happy to have him.
When you made this pick was it with the expectation that William Gay won't be coming back?
I'm not up there on that decision making, you're asking some questions that are above me. I coach them, if they are there I'll work with them to make them better. Who's going to be here and who's not going to be here that's above my paygrade. I have nothing to do with those decisions so save that one for the boss.
Conference Call Transcript
Re: On being drafted by the Steelers:
Freaking awesome. I don't know what say, just sitting at home thinking nothing was going to come. My dad is from Pennsylvania, family lives out there, and I know they're all excited out there. I'll get to see my family while I am there, and they can watch me play. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to get up there and help the team out any way I can. I'm just ready to go, I'm hyped.
Where in Pennsylvania is your dad from?
How's your party going so far?
It's good, no party yet. Just a couple people at the house right now, and they're all excited.
Have you ever been to Brownsville?
Yeah, I have. We went there when I was about 13 years old. My dad showed me where he used to live.
When did you move and why?
I'm from California. My dad and mom met in the Air Force and my dad has been in California since.
Re: On why he went in the sixth round:
I don't know. I can't answer that question. I can only be the guy waiting and waiting on a team to call me. I'm glad it was the Steelers.
Re: On if he played in a 3-4 defense last year:
Yes, sir. I played a rush-outside backer, and drop back. I played everywhere in the defense. I played Will, I played Sam, I can cover guys, I played all the positions and did all the kind of stuff they wanted me to do. I'm an all-round player.
Re: On what he was doing when he got the call:
I don't know what to tell you guys. I was just like, "HHey, it's looking like free agency right now, I'm hoping my other guys get drafted. And I'm just ready to go. Whoever wants to give me a chance in free agency, I'm going to play with them." When coach Tomlin called me on the phone, I didn't think it was serious. I thought somebody was messing with me.
What do you know about Joey Porter?
What do I know about Joey Porter? Playing in the Super Bowl and all the playoffs, how conditioned he was in the game, how mean he was and how he played with all the passion. No. 55. That defense was stacked, nasty.