LATROBE, Pa. – For the last few years Alejandro Villanueva has said confidence has been an issue for him in different aspects of his game.
Not something you would expect from the big, burly offensive tackle who seems to exude confidence in everything he does.
"I think he questions himself because he doesn't have the experience other guys do," said Ben Roethlisberger. "The linemen, myself, everyone keeps telling him trust yourself, you are really good, you know your stuff. You are physically gifted. Don't worry about second guessing yourself."
But he is human, and there are still times that confidence is an issue. But this time, things are a little bit different.
"I haven't played yet this season," said Villanueva, who missed the Giants game because of concussion evaluation. "I don't know where I am at. I wish I did play in that game. I need to find out where I am in the process. I can't tell you.
"Right now I have a lot of work to do. There is a lot more to do. I am not confident about where I am at. I am confident about the process it takes to be good at your job."
His first two seasons in the NFL Villanueva truly didn't know what all it took to do his job. Everything was new, and he was learning on the fly.
"He just wants to get better," said Marcus Gilbert. "He knows his ceiling is high. He knows what kind of player he can become. He is one of those guys who is very committed to being the best player he can be and not letting his teammates down."
This year, while he is still learning, he truly does understand the process and knows it's okay to, well, still be learning.
"I feel very confident in, if I make a mistake always being able to go to Mike Munchak and have him show me the right way," said Villanueva. "Back in the day I didn't know if one mistake was going to cost me the entire season, if I wouldn't play, wouldn't start. That is different now.
"I might sound more confident. I might look more confident. Practice and games are separate. I need to find out where I am and get better. I am confident that I need to get better."