Though we have been all-in on this year’s rookie class, I wanted to circle back and look back on the 2015 group. Steelers.com had a great segment, sitting down Bud Dupree, Sammie Coates, and Jesse James to look back on their rookie seasons. Over some Primanti Brothers’ sandwiches, naturally.
With how little of a contribution the Pittsburgh Steelers got from the group, there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of information. But even that lack of playing time made for an interesting point made by Coates.
“Rookie year was terrible,” the third round pick said. “Not playing. Not getting a helmet every week….that was about the hardest thing for me to get over. Knowing guys who have been doing it for two or three years and I’m sitting back and watching them.”
Coates didn’t see any consistent playing time on offense until the Divisional loss against the Denver Broncos. Filling in due to Antonio Brown’s concussion, he snagged two passes for 61 yards. He had to make the mental adjustment most rookies do. After dominating their high school and college career, they were moved to the bottom of the pecking order in the NFL, forced to learn and bide their time.
Dupree had a different path, playing roughly 50% of the defense’s snaps. He quipped about his first interaction with James Harrison, a phone call where Dupree joked he thought he was a coach.
“He’s like, ‘ight, we’re going to start working right now. See you when you get here.’ I was like, yes sir. He gave me a motivation speech. I thought he was a coach.”
Dupree and Coates explained their adjustment to playing in a big city. James, who didn’t have much to say, was happy to get to stay in his hometown.
“This is home for me. So it’s nothing new. It’s like I picked where I got to go.”
Check out the whole segment on Steelers.com. Dupree and Coates are hilarious and the trio talk about their feelings going from year one to two.