It’s hard to spend six years at a place where you grew and developed and cut your teeth and not have that influence the way that you approach things. That was certainly the case for former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree, and that’s fine by the Tennessee Titans. I’m sure they want to bring some of that Pittsburgh down south—after all, it wouldn’t be the first time there were major connections between the two teams.
But on the latest JMart and Ramon episode—a podcast co-hosted by former Steelers guard Ramon Foster—Dupree made it pretty clear that what he learned in Pittsburgh is there to stay. Foster asked him about his relationship working with T.J. Watt, for example, and how that would translate to what he brings to the Titans.
“Just not being selfish. There’s no reason to be selfish when you’re trying to get one goal, a championship”, he said. “This Titans team is great already, they’re right at the door already. They’ve been there for the last couple years. I just want to come in and let them know that I’m not selfish at all”.
One can certainly make the argument that the Titans are now closer to a championship right now than are the Steelers, though they don’t have the same pass rush, even if they just got one of Pittsburgh’s top two in Dupree.
So much of his game in Pittsburgh was predicated on his ability to pair with Cameron Heyward, feeding off of each other, working stunts, and things like that. In Tennessee, he will be next to Jeffrey Simmons, whom he told his hosts he has already trained with last year, and he will do so again this Summer when he’s fully cleared from his ACL injury.
I’m sure the Steelers wanted to find a way to keep Dupree—after all, they let him play under the franchise tag just last year—but it was never realistic with the current salary cap circumstances, and so they move on to the next man up, which happens to be Alex Highsmith.
Dupree leaves the Steelers having started 66 of 81 games over six seasons. He finished with 231 tackles, including 54 for loss, with 39.5 sacks, with eight forced fumbles, a pick six, and ten passes defensed. He has posted 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons, in 27 games, and 24 tackles for loss.