Where Are They Now?MIKE MERRIWEATHER
Resides inSacramento, California
What is your current job and what does it entail?
I do financial planning and am an insurance broker with New York Life, Afflack and Hartford-Mass Mutual.
What is the fondest memory from your playing career?
It would be April, 1982, when I got drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. I never thought I would get drafted that high, plus go to a four-time Super Bowl winner like the Steelers. To have guys like Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Donnie Shell and Mel Blount was like a dream come true, playing with all of the heroes you watched on television.
Was it intimidating at all coming in with those guys on the team?
My first experience when we had mini-camp my rookie year we would go up to the Allegheny Club to eat lunch in Three Rivers Stadium. Myself and some of the other rookies went to go up to eat and the elevator opens and there is Coach (Tony) Dungy and Mel Blount on the elevator. I thoughts at that time Mel was six-foot-nine. Coach Dungy saw the look in my eyes and introduced me. That was great.
What was your best game?
I know I had some games that had multiple sacks in them. I remember one play when we were playing the New Orleans Saints. Joe Greene was on the sidelines as the defensive coach and I hit the running back and made him fumble and the ball squirted out. I jumped on the ball before it went out of bounds. It was a tough battle, a tough team.
For us practice was harder than the games when playing with the Steelers. I always modeled myself after Robin Cole because after a two-hour tough practice he would do more drills on his own with either Ray Pinney or Tunch Ilkin. He called me mini and would tell me we are going to go do this. I started doing the extra pass rushing and it really helped me.
What did you like most about playing for the Steelers?
It was a close-knit family. You would go to battle with these guys any time. If you need anything you can call on them. They were always there. I remember when The Chief used to come in the locker room and shake everybody's hand. He would always say, "How you doing Mike."
Teammate you were closest to during your playing days?
Robin Cole, Jack Lambert and Jack Ham because our lockers were all together. I would always get knowledge from them my first couple of years. I was close to Edmund Nelson, he was my roommate, Bryan Hinkle and Craig Bingham. Many of the rookies my year made the team and we bonded together, guys like Walter Abercrombie and Guy Ruff.
Do you still keep in touch with former teammates?
I do, a lot through email. I always try to go back to Pittsburgh too and visit and go to the events.
Who is the one player you think should definitely be on the 75th season team?
That would be impossible. I would just vote an entire offense and defense. I couldn't exclude anybody.
Do you still follow the Steelers and if so, how closely?
Believe it or not it seems like there are more Steelers fans out here than for there are fans for the California teams. Everywhere I go I see a Steelers bumper sticker, a license plate, someone wears a Steelers hat. I always have the Steelers on my mind. I look at the website. I follow them quite a bit.
Visit the Steelers Alumni page for more on the team's former players.