I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a great thing when a player is able to come into the league with somebody with whom they can relate and grow together. Whether it is a former teammate or somebody that they met in the pre-draft process or just another player that is at the same position, I think it can really be of great aid to accelerating the growth of both players.
It is something that happens pretty often, and something I’ve talked about a fair bit in relationship to it occurring. We have a few of those pairs on the team right now, such as T.J. Watt and Keion Adams. There are two pairs of rookies in the same boat as well, such as college teammates James Washington and Mason Rudolph.
Then there are the two safeties, Marcus Allen out of Penn State taken in the fifth round and then Terrell Edmunds, their first-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech. the two of them did get to know each other a bit during the Combine, but they’ve quickly forged a bond since coming together in Pittsburgh, as Allen is previously talked about even back during rookie minicamp.
Now that they are into their second week of OTAs and have been able to assimilate into the full roster with the veterans in place, that familiarity with another player in the same shoes as you is like an anchor as you fit the turbulent waters. The friendship has been valuable to both him and Edmunds.
“It’s great. Me and him, when we’re in the hotel we go over the plays together”, Allen told Missi Matthews during an interview for the team’s website recently. “We help each other out. As far as him being my teammate, he’s truly trying to be a brother, and me being his teammate, I’m trying to be a brother towards him. Anything that we can help each other with, we’re open to that”.
Those are similar remarks that we heard from Keion Adams talking about his relationship with T.J. Watt last year. Watt was the first-round draft pick at outside linebacker, Adams the seventh-round pick, but draft status didn’t matter. They both had just as much to learn about what it takes to survive in the NFL. They leaned on each other and forged a bond that is still going into year two.
It would be great to see Edmunds and Allen be able to share a similarly healthy relationship that helps both individuals push and better one another. Of course we’re barely even halfway through OTAs. There’s still a long, long way to go before either one of them is able to prove themselves on the field.
But I think having each other to go through the rookie struggles with is an asset to both, and it’s good to see it continue and to develop. Hopefully it serves them both well in the long term.