LATROBE, Pa. – While at the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend I had a chance to catch up with Joe Greene and talk to him about the 2016 Steelers, in particular the defensive line.
And one of the topics that came up in the interview, which will be available on steelers.com before the regular season begins, was defensive end Stephon Tuitt and his attitude.
"I am really excited about him," said Greene. "His temperament is coming to where it should be."
When Tuitt heard the compliment, when he heard Greene is 'excited' about him, he couldn't help but be humbled.
"It's an honor," said Tuitt. "There are no words for it. The way everybody looks up to that guy here and everywhere. That means so much to me. I am at a loss for words. I am grateful. The only thing I can do is play like I know how to play."
That is exactly what Tuitt has been doing since he was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, even if there was a learning curve at the beginning.
"Early on you try to learn the defense, learn the system, fit in with the guys to help the team," said Tuitt. "At first it's frustrating because you are learning and you want to show your talent, but you have to take it step by step and do what you are supposed to do. If you respect the process it will take you further.
"From that point on you play like you know how you can play. Now that I know the defense, now that I am comfortable, I am playing like I know I can play."
And with Cam Heyward on the other end of the defensive line, the way they can play is going to wreak havoc for opposing offenses this year.
"Cam and I have something special going on," said Tuitt. "We can destroy people. I truly believe that. If we keep everybody healthy, we have the ability to dominate offensive lines.
"We have the talent, size, speed and brains to seize things. We have to put it all together. We are using the preseason to get in full football shape and we will be ready."