When you’re not the biggest, the stronger, or the fastest, you’re going to have to excel, to borrow the Mike Tomlin phrase, above the neck, if you want a chance to succeed in football. That’s what Tyler Matakevich has done his entire career. An unknown, written off prospect with a lone Division One offer. But he finished with a career must could only dream of and he knows his film study played a critical role in his success.
“I try to really study the game so it will put me in the right place at the right time,” Matakevich told Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews. “When you’re able to prepare and know what the offense is going to do before they run the play, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Being around a veteran linebacker group, led by James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons, is another invaluable resource for the team’s seventh round pick.
“To hear how they go into each week with the same mentality and the things they do off the field and on the field, to keep them playing at their best potential they possibly can. So those are some of the little things I can’t wait to pick at these vets.”
While Matakevich has gotten his first pieces of advice from the group, “be attentive and detailed” he told Matthews, his first crash course will really kick off this week. The Steelers begin Phase Three of their OTAs, reporting tomorrow with the first of ten practices beginning Tuesday. That will be followed up by a mid-June mandatory minicamp before the team gets a final vacation.
They will report back for training camp sometime in late July. An official date and schedule has not been announced. Just as we have for the past two years, we’ll be there to cover camp for every practice.