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Exclusive with Steelers Tight End Trevor Wood

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Ron Lippock spoke with Trevor Wood, who signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent. Wood, a tight end/long snapper started 6 of the 12 games he played for Texas A&M in 2018. 

First of all, congratulations – has it all set in yet?

You kind of think you know how you’ll feel when you sign with an NFL team, but you don’t know. To reach this point – it’s surreal. I mean, I know I haven’t made it yet – I haven’t made the team yet or anything. But just to get to this point…

What are you doing now to prepare for camp?

I’m not doing anything different than I had been doing. I’m training back home in Phoenix – 20 minutes from my place. I left for my pro day then came right back into it.

Why did you choose to sign with Pittsburgh?

Well, what do you hear about the Steelers, right? The fanbase, the legacy and history behind the team. It’s such a successful place. I have a buddy on the team too who has said nothing but great things – Trey Griffey. I played with him at Arizona before he graduated and I transferred.

What do you think you bring to the team – what are your strengths?

I think really, my strength is that I’m a good inline blocker. I fit in a hard-nosed offense like what they run. The hardest thing for me was that in college I was behind a consensus All-American. I knew my role. I did the dirty work and he was an elusive, great athlete . I took on my role for the team.

I talked to my agent when I was looking at teams. He said that this was a good opportunity for me – no better place for a guy like me than Pittsburgh. I fit Pittsburgh’s style. But one thing – I can also stretch the field – something I didn’t get a chance to do much in college. But I’m excited to showcase that for Pittsburgh. I have a big body and can run well. I’m excited to show what I can do.

Did you know Pittsburgh had interest in you before they called?

It’s crazy. I had no idea – no contact with them beforehand. I was in shock. But when they called I couldn’t pass up on it.

What do you need to improve on, do you think?

I think I can improve the way I run the top of my routes. And my footwork is something I can always improve on in my run blocking. Just being more precise in my footwork and solidifying my techniques.

You’re a long snapper as well – how does that help you make the team?

That’s just another tool – another opportunity for me to make the 53 and help out. You do anything you can to help the team win. I have a long body – my coaches liked that and that I can run down the field and make tackles too. I’m an athlete who can also snap. I did that a lot in Arizona and showed that off when they asked me to at my pro day as well.

I also read your college coaches had you play defensive line a bit and felt you had a future there – and you had some success there too.  Any interest in that if needed/asked in Pittsburgh?

Well, I’ll help them win any way possible. I know I’m a tight end – that’s what I love to do and play. But if I’m needed on defense and can help them win there, I’m all for it. I’m all about winning. We all want to do what makes us happiest, but I want to win too.

What should fans know about you of the field?

I’m a highly motivated, hard-working tough dude. I’m ready to work. I’m not a guy to overstep my boundaries and make it about me and expect to start. I’ll work at my role and play hard and compete.

Whatever happens, happens. I’m just so excited to play for Mike Tomlin. I’ve heard nothing  but great things,

I’m also involved in the community – I like working with kids. That’s on my track record since college. I like to help kids that don’t have the opportunity – I was in that position too. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. I’m all about positivity – I’m not about breaking guys down.

What does success look like to you?

Oh – a Super Bowl is success! That’s what we’re here for, right?

Ron Lippock is the author of Steelers Takeaways and has interviewed over 650 past and present Steelers players, coaches and personnel. You can purchase his book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Steelers-Takeaways-Memories-Through-Decades/dp/1681570076

NFL

James Conner Surprises Mom with New House

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner warmed hearts last month when he surprised his father with a new truck.

Now, he is taking care of mom.

Conner recently surprised his mother with a brand new house, sharing her emotional reaction to Twitter on Saturday.

Conner was able to pull off the surprise for his mother, Kelly Bibbs, with the help of his brothers. While Bibbs may have not realized what exactly was going on at first, seeing her son James and the golden balloons arranged to say “Welcome Home” quickly gave it away.

Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry shared their thoughts on the big surprise, among other on social media.

Conner’s gesture is a continuation of an offseason of giving that saw him gift his father a brand new truck back on June 6.

Entering his fourth season out of Pitt, Conner is looking for a bounce back season following an injury plagued 2019 campaign. He rushed for 464 yards and four touchdowns, but played in only ten games for the Steelers.

Last season was a far cry from 2018, when Conner was a breakout sensation replacing Le’Veon Bell. He ran for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl honors.

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the 25-year-old has something to prove in 2020.

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NFL

Bill Cowher Reveals He and His Wife Recovered from COVID-19

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Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and his wife Veronica have and recovered from COVID-19, the future Hall of Fame told Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.

While not diagnosed at the time, the couple experienced symptoms back in March following a trip to Hawaii, and tested positive for the virus antibodies in April.

According to Bouchette’s story, Cowher first knew something was wrong when he was unable to smell flowers he had purchased from a florist, and could not taste his wife’s cooking. Cowher also said he experienced shaky joints and a fever, while Veronica had a cough.

Cowher also shared his thoughts on the NFL season going forward, and if he thinks the league will be able to start up without a hitch. He seems skeptical.

“I don’t know,” Cowher said via Pro Football Talk. “No. 1, the players have to feel comfortable with whatever they come up with from a testing standpoint, from a protocol standpoint. I totally understand the reluctance. Even though they say young people aren’t getting it, you also have people who have asthma, people who have underlying conditions in their families — they’re going back to their homes with parents who may now be elderly. It’s not like you can isolate yourself from everybody, particularly during a season that’s five months long. . . . I still think we have a long way to go.”

Cowher added that players needed to be respected with regard to how they choose to handle the virus personally, including if they decided to skip the 2020 season entirely.

“It’s going to come down to the league and the NFLPA feeling comfortable moving forward, and even within that, if they come up with a set of guidelines, and now a player who doesn’t feel comfortable, he may not want to be part of it. It affects people differently not only from a physical standpoint but from a mental standpoint. . . . I think we have to respect that.”

A Super Bowl champion in 2005, Cowher spent his entire 15-year head coaching career with the Steelers. His 149 wins are top-20 in NFL history.

Cowher has worked as an analyst for The NFL Today on CBS since 2007.

The legendary coach was supposed to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August, but the ceremony and festivities were moved to the summer of 2021 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

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Steelers

Lawrence Timmons Donating $500,000 to High School Alma Mater

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Former Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons is giving back to the next generation of football players at his high school alma mater.

Timmons donated $500,000 to Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina to remodel their stadium. The renovation process is expected to get underway in September.

“All of these upgraded facilities, around the school and athletic complex, give students a renewed pride in their school. I’m glad to play a part in that,” Timmons told Clint Buckley of 247 Sports.

The renovation plan for Tiger Stadium includes a new track, additional seating and an updated, brick entrance to the complex.

“I am very appreciative of Mr. Timmons’ contribution,” said Eric Robinson, Wilson’s principal. “This just goes to show that he remembers where he came from and that he will always be a Tiger. I am excited to see what everything looks like when it is done. Our students and our alumni deserve the best. I think this will motivate them to be even better on the field.”

A 2003 graduate of Wilson, Timmons played linebacker and tight end, posting 150 tackles and two sacks along with 47 receptions for 800 yards and five touchdowns as a senior.

Trading Florence for Tallahassee, he earned All-ACC honors behind 79 tackles and 18 tackles-for-loss in his final season with the Florida State Seminoles.

Timmons was selected 15th-overall by the Steelers in the 2007 NFL Draft. He spent ten seasons in Pittsburgh, earning both a Pro Bowl appearance and Second-Team All-Pro during his stellar 2014 season. He won Super Bowl XLIII with the Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals in 2009.

Timmons recorded 983 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and 12 interceptions over his Steeler career.

Timmons has been out of the NFL since being released after a single season with the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

Still, it is great to see Timmons staying close to the game by giving back to the place that gave him his football start.

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