Devin Gardner quickly found out how harsh the NFL could be. Two weeks after being signed as a UDFA by the New England Patriots, he was cut.
His time out of work didn’t last very long though. As Gardner told Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, the Steelers were quick to give him a ring.
Or rather, an email.
“But the next day, the (Steelers) tried to call me but couldn’t get through because I had gotten a new number. They emailed me, I randomly checked my email, and I was excited again,” he told Baumgardner.
What email provider do you think Mike Tomlin uses? Gmail? Yahoo? AOL? The league still uses fax machines, after all.
It was a comfortable landing spot for the rookie, pointing out the familiar presence the Steelers’ head coach had on Michigan’s campus.
Despite anticipating playing receiver exclusively in the NFL, the Steelers are asking him to play quarterback, too.
“They told me over the break to keep working on both, to split time working at both so I’m doing two-a-days a lot,” he said. “It’s rough, but it’s exciting because they want to try and use me in different schemes and they think I’ve got a lot of skills.”
Gardner isn’t the only Steeler in that role, joined by fellow rookie Tyler Murphy. Both are longshots to make the 53 man roster but it seems more likely than not that at least one of the two will make the team’s practice squad.