Miles Boykin Excited to See Steelers-Ravens Rivalry From Other Side
PITTSBURGH — Steleers wide receiver Miles Boykin has seen the Steelers and Ravens rivalry from the side of Baltimore. The former Ravens receiver was drafted by the Ravens in the 2019 NFL Draft, but after he was let go by the Ravens, he found a soft landing spot with the Steelers in the offseason.
Thus far on the season, Boykin’s excellent blocking and special teams ability has allowed him to carve out a significant role on the roster. However, this will be his first time facing his former team in the rivalry’s iteration. That will be bittersweet for Boykin, but he knows the intensity the rivalry brings on both sides.
“There’s going to be a lot of emotions there,” Boykin said. “Whenever you face your old team, those emotions come up. But, you can’t let those emotions cloud the game. I’m going to go out there and do my job and help this team win.”
Having been a part of both organizations, Boykin has played under two of the longest-tenured coaches in the NFL today — those being John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin. The strategy of physicality and traditional of stability has allowed both teams to thrive even in the modern era. Boykin sees a lot of similarities between both teams.
“These teams have two great coaches who are two great leaders and that’s where the winning stems from,” Boykin said. “Anytime you have continuity in the NFL, you have a good chance, so Tomlin and Harbaugh have been here awhile. The way they go about their business day-to-day is so similar. They are both great leaders first of all and great football coaches. These guys get the job done. And they don’t shy away from anything, which makes them both great. In Baltimore, Harbs harps on physicality from all three phases. The Ravens and Steelers care a ton about special teams a ton. That speaks to that culture.”
Miles Boykin has played in some rivalry games in his time. He has experienced AFC North football throughout his entire career. But at Notre Dame, he experienced multiple stored rivalries at the college level, too. However, for Boykin nothing has matched the allure and intensity that the Steelers and Ravens bring to the table for each other.
“This is the most physical and intense game that I’ve played in,” Boykin said. “It’s kinda crazy being on both sides of it. Both sides harp on the physicality this game brings. It’s kinda cool from both ends. With the Ravens, we talk about how physical this game would be, and then here, it’s about that same thing. Both sides embrace it. That’s what makes it a great rivalry.”
Boykin had his welcome moment in the first game he played in the rivalry in 2019. After Duck Hodges and the Steelers lost a close one to the Ravens in overtime, Boykin could not believe the soreness and pain he was in during the game and then after the game. That was his instant welcome to the rivalry moment.
“I just remember playing in that game, and afterward I was so sore,” Boykin said. “The intensity of it, the physicality, the talking, it’s a tough game. We won that game, but we all walked out of there with wounds. That’s when I knew about this rivalry and what to expect.”
For the first time, Boykin will play as a Steeler against the Ravens, and he is eager to play in yet another smashmouth football game in the rivalry.