Bringing you another Pittsburgh Steelers’ interview courtesy of our good friend Ron Lippock of the Pittsburgh Sports Daily Bulletin. Today, Ron, quick like a bunny, has already nailed down an interview with one of the teams’ 13 undrafted free agents. He chats with Toledo OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi. They discuss why he came to Pittsburgh and if he has a chip on his shoulder after being overlooked in the draft.
Be sure to check out Ron’s book, Steelers’ Takeaways: Player Memories Through The Decades, featuring over 400 interviews with players and coaches, past and present. You can buy it on Amazon through the link provided here.
First, tell me why you chose to sign with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent?
Well, the team showed me some love before the draft. Joey Porter liked me and I think he probably lobbied for me in the meeting room. The system is perfect for me. Playing in the 3-4 like I did in college.
Anything you need to work on most coming in to the NFL?
I have the versatility – I stood up as a pass rusher and dropped back a little in college. But I will have to work on my drops more and on man coverage, I was more of a pass rusher in college.
How are you doing so? And what do you hope to pick up from the veterans on the team?
I’ve been training at EXOS Training. They’ve been showing me how to drop back, open up my hips…
As far as what I can learn. Anything I can learn, I want to learn. As a rookie, I know there are certain things I can pick up on. Learning the playbook quickly. I want to learn. I want to have a longer year in the league.
Some players feel getting a chance as an undrafted free agent is better than being drafted late as you get to pick your team and fit. Thoughts on that?
To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me. I had dreams about being drafted, but everything happens for a reason. In the end Porter and the team talked to my agent and we got it done.
Any guys you know that will help you adjust off the field – who know the city or the team?
My teammate from Toledo – Treyvon Hester was from there so he knows the city, Also the Steelers draft pick – offensive lineman Chuks Okorafor – I got acclimated with him in training and used to go against him in college, so we’re reunited now.
How did you do against him?
Ha! Last year when we played I was in and out – I wasn’t healthy. So, it wasn’t really me going against him. But, we won! That’s all that matters! The year before was a different story when they went undefeated. But we won this year – that’s all that matters!
So, what should fans know about you? How would you describe yourself to them?
Ah man…I’d say watch the tape to see what I bring. What’s on film is what I bring – and more. I work hard and learn what I can.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the stadium and getting wild as fans wave the Terrible Towel!
What should they know about you – the person. Outside of football?
I’m laid back. Chill. A smart guy. In my off time I like to customize shoes. It’s a hobby of mine.
So – you may have a good customer in Antonio Brown who’s a big fan of customized shoes!
Oh man, I’m not sure. If I messed that up I couldn’t live with myself!
What would your coaches say about you?
A lot of things, That I’m a trustworthy kid. I take coaching and come every day to work. High motor that plays injured and turns it up and gets the team energized.
Any thoughts for players like you – guys coming from smaller schools who create chances for themselves like you had?
Yeah. It doesn’t matter where you go in the end. If you can ball you can ball and they’ll find you. Do what you can do and put it all out there. They’ll find you.
Lastly, the Steelers are a team that gets a great deal from undrafted free agents, Many start on the practice squad and work their way up to be big contributors Any thoughts on that?
To be honest I’m not thinking about that. I’m going to come in and do what I can to make the roster. If I end up on the practice squad sure, but I’m coming in to make the roster.