When it comes to draft strategy, no team is going to be entirely consistent, because it’s virtually impossible to do. When you have 31 other teams also potentially picking the same players that you ideally would love to take, you’re going to have to settle for what’s in front of you at some point.
When you have a brain trust that has been together for as long as the Pittsburgh Steelers, however, there are some themes that develop, even if they are not unwavering. One thing the Steelers clearly value is character. This is more obvious for high draft picks who get all the attention, but you usually have to get the local touch to hear about others.
Like Isaiah Buggs, the second of their three selections in the sixth round. The defensive lineman out of Alabama recently returned to his home town of Ruston, LA for a segment about his being drafted. Just days before that happened, Ruston was hit by a hurricane.
“I didn’t want to celebrate it like that, with families losing their homes”, he said. “To me, gaining everything that I ever wanted, it don’t add up together, so I just kind of stay low. I’m going to help this community as much as I can once I get in there and get everything going, to give back to this community as much as I can”.
Buggs signed a four-year deal worth about $2.7 million in total, which included a signing bonus of $168,632, the only portion of his contract that is guaranteed. If he wants to keep earning those millions, he will have to keep making the roster, and by doing so, being able to afford what he wants to do.
He doesn’t want to just give back to his community. He wants to provide for his family, including his mother, for whom he wants to get a new house. “I am most definitely gonna do that because that’s what she deserves. It’s time for her to live her best life”, he said.
While he knows of the tough road ahead in making it in the NFL, he is not afraid to take a moment to appreciate that he is living out the dream that he had as a child. “Every day I wake up, I know I can do whatever I want to do in the world”, he said. “I know my family is gonna be taken care of, and I know that I can enjoy life now and have fun at the same time and do what I do best: play football”.
Speaking of giving back, Buggs is holding a ‘Funday’ today in Ruston for the local area kids at a recreation center. I don’t know how many Ruston residents will be reading this, but if you are from there, it’s at the Greenwood Recreation Center from 2PM to 5PM.