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Worth the wait

It didn't take long for safety Daimion Stafford to make a good first impression during his initial week with the Steelers.

"Just looking at his stature and build, I told him he looks like he's a downhill kind of guy, which means he's my kind of guy," free safety Mike Mitchell said.

Stafford, a 6-foot, 221-pound, fifth-year pro who was signed by the Steelers this week, has considered himself that type of guy during the last four seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

"That is one of my strengths," he said. "I like to come downhill and punish whoever has the ball."

Stafford played the last two seasons under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in Tennessee, so the defense he's beginning to learn in Pittsburgh isn't an unfamiliar one.

"We kinda ran the same thing last year," Stafford said.

Stafford had also heard plenty about the Steelers prior to his arrival, presumably from the likes of LeBeau, head coach Mike Mularkey, special teams coach Bobby April, wide receivers coach Bob Bratkowski, defensive line coach Nick Eason, offensive line coach Russ Grimm, linebackers coach Lou Spanos, secondary coach Deshea Townsend and assistant defensive line coach Keith Willis.

All were on the Titans' staff last season and all have Steelers ties.

The Steelers participate in day 6 of the 2017 Organized Team Activities at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

"You hear about how hard-nosed the Steelers are, they just have that culture around here," Stafford said. "We had a lot of guys in Tennessee that were from here. Everything they said is pretty true about guys' character and just how 'Coach T' (head coach Mike Tomlin) is and things like that.

"I've heard random stories about everything."

Stafford appeared in 62 games and started eight over the last four seasons.

But when free agency commenced in March he found no takers.

His wait for another opportunity lasted until this week.

"It was a surprise to me but I can't control what I can't control," Stafford said. "I just stayed at home, tried to be ready and waited for that call.

"I finally got it."

Now that he's here, Stafford said he's ready, willing and able to do "whatever they want me to do, middle-of-the-field (safety), box safety, 'dime,' special teams, whatever."

Stafford embraced his first three practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex during the second week of OTAs, particularly after having waited so long for another opportunity to play.

"I tried not to let it bother me but sometimes it did," he said. "I'm happy to be here now.

"All I needed was a jersey."

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