TONY HILLSFOURTH ROUND SELECTION130th OVERALL
Offensive Lineman - University of Texas-Austin
4th Round – 130th Overall
Has your injury history held you back, including in this draft?
Well I know that there are a lot of things that the GMs and the coaches looked at and might have put up a red flag. If they followed my career and my history they would see that I have always been able to battle back from tough situations. Obviously Pittsburgh looked at it and paid attention to it and I am happy to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Can you explain what happened with the drop foot to us?
Sure. I got hurt in high school. I got hit in the leg and my perennial nerve was stretched causing a lack of mobility and then a loss of function in my foot. After my scar tissue removal surgery and after my MCL tear I regained full functions and I guess the rest is history.
Are you healthy and back to normal then?
I am definitely healthy. I am still working on getting all of my lower body strength back. That is something that I am going to go in there and work on as well as just doing what I can to help the team.
What do you see yourself as, a left or a right tackle?
I definitely prefer the left side. That is what I have been playing. I am willing to do whatever it takes in order to pay my dues and help the team in any form or fashion. I definitely feel that I am athletic enough to play left tackle in this league.
They say it is difficult to come back from that kind of injury. How difficult was it for you to come back from the drop foot injury?
That is what I was told but I definitely didn't have any difficulty coming back. Once I got full functions back into the leg, from there we went on to building me up and getting me stronger; a lot of lower body lifting and total body lifting in general.
Are you going to come up with Limas?
I definitely am. I was on the verge of calling him. I thought I should wait a minute and keep this line open, I know you guys wanted to call me.
What's he (Limas) like?
He's a heck of a player on the field, he is a hard worker, he has a lot of heart. He likes to be called on in pressure situations. We are very similar in the way we play the game. We play the game with passion. I'm just fortunate and blessed to be able to go to the same organization with somebody that I came up through college with.
What do you think that he would say you're like?
Pretty much the same things, just a hard-nosed football player. I love the physicality of the position that I play. I just want to help the team get better and I love to win.
I guess the Cowboys are America's Team in your mind?
That's what they say. Right now I'm just enjoying being part of the Pittsburgh organization.
I feel like they have a great team and I just want to be part of it.
The Steelers are pretty much reviled down in your neck of the woods.
Actually we have a couple of Steelers fans in the house. My uncle is a huge Steelers fan. I watched them since Coach Tomlin has been there. They are going in the right direction for what they stand for with their lunch pail type of attitude. That is the same type of attitude that I have. It's been a pleasure watching those guys go out and work. I am just glad I can be part of the organization.