‘Built For This’: Nate Herbig Brings Big Body, Personality to Steelers OL
PITTSBURGH — There is an age-old adage that some linemen in football are huggable teddy bears off the field and then become nasty maulers you would never want to mess with on the football field. New Steelers guard Nate Herbig fits that adage about as well as you can imagine.
A cheeky, snappy guy, Herbig is an absolute mountain of a man. When he walked into the press conference area at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, it was hard to not notice that his size is just not normal for even most NFL linemen. He is stout, wide, and yet still shredded.
If you know him personally, the humor will drag you infectiously into the mammoth man. But make no mistake, smashmouth football is the style Herbig wants to play. When he gets on the field, it turns into a bar room brawl, and that makes Herbig a unique player with a personality the team around him will love. That size lets everyone know he’s physically imposing, and he knows he’s built for it.
“I love the game of football,” Herbig said. “I feel like I play the game a certain way and I’ll play it that way. I’m happy to be here. Old-school, smashmouth, I like that. As you can see, I’m built for it.”
Is it the fact that he is built like a refrigerator or that the film says he can bury opponents into the ground at a moment’s notice that makes the light-hearted Stanford alum so enthralling? It could be either, but Herbig stands out as a player that can be versatile and wear the hats Pittsburgh will want him to do so. And by the way, he will do it extremely willingly.
“Man, I’ll play punter if they want me to,” Herbig said. “I’ll play wherever. Most of my history is on the right, though.”
Make no mistake, however. The hilarious guard is one that calls everyone he likes and runs into the ‘GOAT’, including Andy Weidl, and embraces the situation he is in. When asked the usual question of why he joined the Steelers, Herbig quipped in a lighthearted tone that there is nowhere else he would rather be.
“It’s the Steelers! Like, come on, what isn’t there about,” Herbig said. “I don’t have enough good things to say. Guys on the team have already reached out to me, Kenny reached out to me. That shows his leadership already. I’m happy to be here.”
Nate Herbig is a bright, beaming personality. On the field, he is a versatile player that is looking to fill any role that the Steelers give him. That isn’t always easy to find in, an easygoing offensive lineman, but Herbig has the chill energy to match the opposing demeanor on the field. Known as ‘Nasty Nate’, he won’t be confused for a teddy bear on the football field. As a self-proclaimed lover of smashmouth football, understand there is a switch that flips on when he gets onto the football field.
“I don’t know, it’s just the way I play on the field,” Herbig said. “You know, I play a certain way and I like guys to know about that. I love to run block and just go at it with those guys across from me.”
Playing at Stanford and in Hawaii, Herbig looked up to David DeCastro and played at the same high school as Tyson Alualu. There are more Steelers connections than where that came from. But the bottom line is that Herbig has the old-school Steelers mentality, and his infectious love for football mixed with his endearing humor makes him a welcome addition to Pittsburgh.