Nat Berhe doesn’t get talked about too often considering the fact that he was a player that the Pittsburgh Steelers brought over in free agency. But no matter how much attention he might get from the average fan, he certainly seems to be loving his new team and becoming a Steeler.
Take, for example, the manner in which he talked about the team from 2017. Berhe recently spoke to the team’s website and touched on a number of topics, one of which was tackling. “Last year we missed a lot of tackles and we were really good”, he said. “Imagine if we made all of those tackles”. Of course, he was with the New York Giants at the time.
Not that he seems to miss it. “I was on a really bad team last year. Coming from that it’s been really great here”, he said. For whatever reason, the Giants bottomed out in 2017, having a terrible year after they were able to return to the postseason in 2016, largely because of the improvements made on defense.
Berhe wants to be a part of the Steelers’ defensive improvements as well, though he figures to be no better than the number four safety for the moment behind rookie first-round pick Terrell Edmunds, who looks to be the next man up behind starters Sean Davis and Morgan Burnett.
“You want to be that guy. Why not be that guy”, he said about playing the safety position. “It’s a position a lot of people count on you to make that tackle. He is also aware, or has become aware, of the tradition in Pittsburgh at the position, including another safety who wore his number 31: Donnie Shell.
“I looked him up, I saw No. 31 and I was like, yeah, all right”, he said. “You just don’t want to disappoint. You want to keep playing your game. You want to represent that number well”.
Shell was one of the Steelers’ starting safeties during their golden era of the 1970s. Undrafted after the historic 1974 draft class, he would go on to intercept 51 career passes, winning all four Super Bowls of the Steel Curtain era while earning five trips to the Pro Bowl for his work.
Berhe is a player who just signed a one-year contract. It’s quite possible, in the long run, that this is just a layover for him. But he really seems invested in being a Steeler and in trying to make this a long-term football home for him, the way other free agents such as Darrius Heyward-Bey and, up until this season, Arthur Moats have done.