Throughout the day Thursday the shuttles kept arriving at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex from the Pittsburgh International Airport, filled with a new crop of Steelers' rookies, excited, energetic, and ready to go when the team's three-day rookie minicamp begins on Friday.
The Steelers 2016 rookies arrived at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in preparation for Rookie Minicamp.
"Football is what this is all about. Everything is about football right now," said cornerback Artie Burns, the first-round pick out of Miami. "I have been pretty anxious about getting out there on the field and showing everybody who I am. I am ready for the opportunity. I am just ready to go. They chose me in the first round for a reason. They have high expectations for me, so I have to go out there and show what I can do."
He isn't the only one who shares those feelings. Every player is ready to hit the field on Friday and show the coaches what they are made of.
"I am ready to go. I was smiling the whole way on the plane," said second-round pick Sean Davis, the safety from Maryland. "It's great to be here, to be in my new home. I am looking forward to getting on the field, getting a little grasp of the playbook, getting a feel for my teammates and coaches. I really appreciate these days. I am getting a taste of what is going to happen.
"It's real now. It's finally here. I am looking forward to everything that is ahead of me."
Upon their arrival the players go through the routine of being fitted for equipment, seeing where their lockers are, meeting with the athletic training staff, and even having photos taken. The focus is getting all of the details done before the football begins.
"It's kind of getting into that mode that it's time to play now," said Javon Hargrave, the nose tackle from South Carolina State who was selected in the third round. "The draft stuff has calmed down and now it's football. You are ready to see what comes with it, get adjusted to being here, living here and playing football.
"My playbook has been my best friend this week, just trying to get accustomed to it. It's just like freshman year all over again, trying to prove your worth."
Linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the seventh round selection from Temple, was one of two players that signed a four-year contract when they arrived in Pittsburgh, along with fellow seventh round selection Demarcus Ayers. Matakevich was happy to get the business end of things done and get down to football.
"I play with a lot of character and pride," said Matakevich. "When you step across that white line on the field, you become a different person. I am hoping I can add to the great legacy they have here and keep this thing going."