Steelers' rookies had the ultimate workout when the team defeated the Houston Texans 30-23 at Heinz Field on Monday Night Football. But not long afterwards they were back at it, not just working out but encouraging kids to do the same.
The rookie class, along with the team's United Way spokesman Cam Heyward, took part in the 16th Annual NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle by participating in a PLAY60 Assembly at Pittsburgh Arsenal 6-8. The event was a part of a league-wide day of service with the United Way encouraging kids to play 60 minutes a day.
Steelers' rookies took part in the 16th Annual NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle, conducting a PLAY60 clinic for students at Arsenal Middle School.
"They need to know how important it is to get outside, get out of the house," said Heyward. "There are so many activities we can do. It makes us a healthier community. In our society today obesity is a big health factor. The United Way has taken a stronghold against it, making sure our kids are healthy and giving back to our community."
The players addressed the importance of being active and living a healthy lifestyle, but it wasn't talk they were there for, it was being active and getting fit as a part of Play60. They took the kids through football drills, including kicking, passing and footwork, and conducted individual stretching exercises that all kids can handle.
"It's good to come out and interact with them," said receiver Martavis Bryant. "I used to be just like them. I came a long way and they can come a long way also. I spent a lot of time riding bikes up hills. That is a big part of me being fast, riding the bikes up hills. My mom always taught me to be outside and have fun. It's good to be active and get exercise. I was big on playing football."
The Hometown Huddle also was a part of United Way of Allegheny County's fitUnited Pittsburgh, an initiative that brings adults who are influential in the lives of kids together to stress the importance of making the right decisions for a healthy lifestyle.
"We are tryhing to stress to be active 60 minutes a day," said John Leemhuis, Arsenal's physical education teacher. "We have physical education at least three times a week so they get a chance. We have all kinds of equipment, weights so they get a good workout. They really do enjoy it. We get a lot of participation. The more active they are the more they settle down upstairs. They have to get rid of their energy somewhere so this is the best place for it.
"I really appreciate the NFL and Steelers. They donate a lot of money and time, especially from the players, and we really appreciate it."
The Steelers have a long relationship with the United Way of Allegheny County, and the Hometown Huddle is one of the many events they partner for.
"This does for us what nothing else can do," said Megan Marucco, Senior Corporate Relations Manager at United Way of Allegheny County. "The black and gold, Steelers Nation, we unite together, the United Way we unite people together. We all come out for the greater good. It brings everybody together."