All in a number: The Steelers rookies have arrived in Pittsburgh, getting ready for the team's three-day rookie minicamp which starts on Friday.
When they arrived, one of the first things they found out is their jersey number, which they will be wearing proudly on the field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex this weekend.
Versatility pays off: Fifth-round pick Isaiahh Loudermilk, the defensive end who played at Wisconsin, said it still hits him that the Steelers traded into the round to draft him.
"When I heard about that it really made me feel good," said Loudermilk from his home in Kansas before he headed to Pittsburgh. "I knew there was some interest with the Steelers. When I found out they traded up to get me, it felt really good. I have been putting in as much work as I can, and it made me feel good about everything I have been doing."
His versatility is one of the things that really attracted the Steelers to him, something that he prides himself on.
"I think it's huge being able to move along the line," said Loudermilk. "I am not a one-dimensional player. I have played all over and worked those techniques at those positions. Being more versatile will help out. You can put me in any spot, and I will feel comfortable doing my job there."
Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar said after the draft that Loudermilk fits the Steelers mold, something that came from the system he played in at Wisconsin.
"The defense and tradition we had at Wisconsin was similar to what Pittsburgh has," said Loudermilk. "The schemes they are going to use me in are similar to what I have been doing the last four year. I heard he said he will use me from a zero nose to a five and that is what I was doing in college. I am going to be extremely comfortable doing the things he is going to have me do."
Hit me with your best shot: Buddy Johnson is the kind of linebacker Steelers fans are going to love. The fourth-round pick from Texas A&M loves to hit. Really loves to hit.
"I love hard-hitting," said Johnson. "That is the type of defense I like to play. For me it's great to be a part of the Steelers defense. This is the best thing that could have happened to me, the best situation. I am excited for what the future holds.
"I am going to work hard, be dedicated and committed 100%. Off the field I am respectful, dependable and accountable. On the field you are getting a leader, a guy who is a dawg. I like the physical part of football, but I am smart in the mental aspect, high football IQ. I love to make plays, special teams, defense, any way I can."
He said it: Tight end Pat Freiermuth, the second-round pick from Penn State, had the opportunity to get to know Steelers tight ends coach Alfredo Robert during his pro day, something that will pay off as the two begin working together this weekend.
"It means a lot because when he worked me out at my pro day we started building that relationship, getting a feel of what he expects, how he does drills and stuff," said Freiermuth. "Just having that background of knowing what he likes to do and how he rolls, eased my mind in the process and I feel good about having him as my coach."