With day three of the Pittsburgh Steelers OTA practices now in the books, the team’s 2015 draft class have gotten their first taste of what it means to play in the NFL.
Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley caught up with first round pick Bud Dupree on Thursday. The rookie didn’t have anything earth-shattering to say, but it was nice to get to hear from him now that he’s donned a Steelers’ uniform.
Dupree seemed to back up Jarvis Jones‘ claim that the rookie was a quick study.
“The first day was kind of fast for me and the rest of the rookies, but I feel like we’re adjusting well now. Learning the plays on the go. I think I’m adjusting fast to the playbook. I already know a lot of it right now so far. I just want to keep learning.”
As Dave Bryan noted earlier in the day, his experience as a 3-4 outside linebacker at Kentucky should ease the NFL learning curve.
The rookie pointed to the value of being in a room full of veterans, mentioning James Harrison, Arthur Moats, Jones, and the defensive lineman as resources to help him. He, of course, gave high praise for Harrison.
“He’s a very strong guy. He always does things right. Great leader. He still wants to get better even though he’s real old, he still wants to get better. I respect him for that.”
Dupree will be battling Moats, not Harrison, for playing time in 2015 but being in the same room as a veteran like Harrison, a player with as incredible of a work ethic as anyone you’ll fine, can only help the rookie make the transition.
Still, I’d go easy on highlighting the fact Harrison is “real old.” Deebo is going to make him carry his shoulder pads every day in camp.
As you’d expect, Dupree spoke highly of outside linebackers coach Joey Porter as well.
“Coach Joey is a great guy. He helps us a lot. He knows what it takes to be good on the field. He knows the essence of playing football. He knows when we mess up, he knows why we messed up because he did before, too. Everything we did out here he’s done, and that’s why he can relate so good and help us a lot.”
Dupree didn’t have a true outside linebackers coach at Kentucky so I can only imagine the information he is receiving from Porter is invaluable. Based on what I observed at training camp in 2014, Porter is clearly the type of coach who cares about the details and is willing to spend extra time helping players develop.