Outside Linebacker - Ohio State
4th Round – 116th Overall
Thaddeus you're the second outside linebacker defensive end type player they've taken, what do you think about that? And what do you know about the Steelers and their linebackers?
I'm very happy about what just happened, I've always liked the Steelers. The defensive coordinator is from Ohio State I met him a couple years ago, he's just a great guy and I'm happy to be playing for him. This is a blessing, and they're coached by a great linebacker that played professional football for awhile and there are obviously great linebackers that play there now. I'm just excited for the opportunity and ready to go.
Thaddeus what made you decide to come out this year?
I was at Ohio State for four years, I'm currently graduating this quarter, and I felt as though I was ready. I got the blessings from my coaches most importantly, and it was just a no brainer it was just something I wanted to do.
Thaddeus how much did you talk to the Steelers throughout the evaluation process, the combine, pro days and how much interest did you think they had in you going into the draft?
Honestly, I talked to them at the combine we sat down and talked, and it was a great meeting that we had. Then at my pro day a couple of the guys were up and I talked to them again after that, and that was it. So this happening right now is truly a blessing. Words can't describe how I feel right now.
Coach [Keith] Butler, the linebackers coach, talked about how you improved greatly from the beginning of the season to the end. Do you see your season that way and what is responsible for that?
Just hard work and dedication and staying committed to getting better. It was easy to do at a place like Ohio State because that's something that we work for, week-in and week-out. And that's something that our coaches preach to us every day. Being coached up by [Linebacker Coach] Luke Fickell and Coach [Def. Coord. Jim] Heacock and the rest of the defensive coaching staff was something that everybody did. I'm excited [and] keep pushing for greatness.
What areas did you improve in?
Just playing over a tight end was the key – just playing heavy in that eight-technique over the tight end and pass rushing abilities, and learning the scheme. Sitting down and learning more about the defense.
How much special teams did you play at Ohio State and have you been told that you'll have to do a lot of that here, especially early in your career?
Yes. I was told I'll do a lot of special teams there, which is just a blessing to even line up on that field. So whatever it is they need me to do, I'm willing and able. But I really didn't play much special teams at Ohio State. Early on in my years here, I did, but I really didn't play any this past year.
Growing up in Cleveland, what team did you root for?
Honestly, I wasn't really an NFL football fan. I followed a lot of basketball. But I can be honest and tell you that I was never a huge Browns fan at all. As a matter of fact, I became a Steelers fan not too long ago – maybe a year or two ago.