Rookie Highsmith Talks Training With D-Linemen Teammates, Learning From Watt, Dupree

If you kept up with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Twitter last week, you probably saw a video clip of several defensive players working out with defensive line trainer and specialist Brandon Jordan. One of those several players in the video was Steelers rookie outside linebacker Alex Highsmith. On Tuesday, Highsmith was asked about that training session that not included him, but several other Steelers defensive linemen as well.

“Yeah, we were working out here in Pitt [Pittsburgh] and it was this past week,” Highsmith said. “And so, it was good working out with them. Cam [Heyward] has got a good relationship with Brandon Jordan, so just kind of got in touch with him and I asked him to go out and workout this week and he said, ‘yeah.’ And so, it was awesome to be able to work out with Cam and with Stephon Tuitt, Dan McCullers, Tyson Alualu, some other guys as well. So, it was just awesome to be able to work with Brandon Jordan.

“Brandon Jordan just is so good at what he does and what he teaches and he’s an awesome guy to be around. So, it was just awesome to be able to train with him and those guys a couple of days last week.”

Highsmith was them asked if there were things he could learn from Jordan and his defensive linemen teammates that will help him as an outside linebacker.

“Yeah, definitely,” Highsmith said. “You know, I just try to, everything I train, I try to apply it to my game. I don’t want to be out there and just doing things that won’t help you to be better at football. So, everything that I try to do I try to do that will help me to be better at my craft and be better and that will translate to on the field.”

While fellow Steelers outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree weren’t seemingly present at that recent workout session with Highsmith last week, the rookie made it clear on Tuesday that he’s already learned things from both of the veterans this offseason and that he looks forward to learning a lot more from both as his rookie season progresses.

“Yeah, they’re both great,” Highsmith said of Watt and Dupree. “You know, I’m truly blessed to be able to learn from two of the best in the league. I say all the time, I really believe that they’re the best pass rushing duo off the edge in this league. So, I was just so excited to be able to learn from them. I’ve already learned a lot from them already. Just little things. Just about my pass rush game and studying film and stuff like that. I’ve already reached out to those guys about it.

“And so, it’s awesome to actually be able to be with them now. So, I’m sure I’m going to be able to see them soon, so I’m just ready to be able to learn from them and I’ll always love watching the film and how they play the game. There’s a reason why they’re so productive. And so, I’m just ready to learn from them and just contribute in any way I can.”

Even though Highsmith hasn’t had the benefit of any offseason practices to help better ready him for the NFL as a rookie, that hasn’t affected his confidence level at all.

“Oh, it’s still high,” Highsmith said of his confidence level upon arriving for the start of his first NFL training camp. “You know, it’s always been like that. My confidence hasn’t wavered because of this. I’m someone who I feel like I don’t get rattled by adversity. Whatever I can do to just be the best that I can be. No matter what the adversity is, I’m still going to do it. So, like I said, I’ve been preparing over these past there or four months to be in that position to be able to get in there and be able to pass rush. And so, I’m just ready and excited for the opportunity.”

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