One of the qualities that the Pittsburgh Steelers appreciate in a draft prospect is his family pedigree. Players such as their past two first-round draft picks, T.J. Watt and Terrell Edmunds, both possessed NFL bloodlines, Watt having two brothers in the league, including multiple-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. Edmunds’ father Ferrell Edmunds was a Pro Bowl tight end and now has three sons in the NFL.
Two of them are on the Steelers’ roster, as they also added Terrell’s older brother, Trey Edmunds, to the practice squad just before the regular season got underway. Trey was an undrafted free agent in 2017 and spent his first year with the New Orleans Saints, but the running back did not make the team last year.
After spending most of the year on the practice squad, the Steelers promoted him to the 53-man roster for the final month of the season after starter James Conner suffered a high ankle sprain. He missed the next three games but returned to play in the finale. Though with him healthy, however, Edmunds stayed on the roster and dressed over Stevan Ridley, who was not re-signed this offseason.
“It was nice. It was awesome”, Terrell said of the experience of having his brother in in the locker room with him, as they played together at Virginia Tech, during his rookie season transitioning to the professional level. “He’s a hard worker. He is someone you can always count on. Just having someone that I know is there for me through the ups and downs was amazing”.
The Edmunds family is very close, and they routinely speak to their parents both about life and about football, so to have two of them in the same city together—the entire family was centrally located in the Virginia area for Ferrell was born, though he attended Maryland—is a rare asset and adds to piece of mind.
“I knew with how hard he worked it was going to happen, that he was going to be activated”, Terrell said of his older brother. “We are just going to keep on working and keep that tunnel vision. It’s about keeping your head down, don’t have to say too much and just keep doing what you do”.
Terrell ended up starting 15 games during his rookie season, and that was in large part because of his work ethic and conditioning, always available and always willing. That drive comes from his parents (both of them) and with his lifelong competition with his siblings.
“We are always challenging each other”, he said of Trey and his youngest brother, Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. “We’re all great athletes and we’re all trying to push and be the best that we can be. It’s good to work with guys who have the same mentality as you”.