After signing with Pittsburgh late last month, new Steelers guard Trai Turner discussed his decision to join the team for the first time.
Joining NFL Total Access on Tuesday, Turner expressed his excitement to join the Steelers and desire to help rejuvenate their anemic run game.
“It’s just one of those teams, one of those organizations that they always compete, always in the game, and play my style of football,” Turner said. “They have a great quarterback at the head of the center, but they like to run the ball. That’s something I’m excited about.”
While the Steelers finished last in the league in rushing a season ago, Turner is confident his skillset can provide Pittsburgh the boost they need on the ground.
“I believe in my game. I think I’m a dominant run-blocker,” Turner said. “I think I’ve shown that throughout the years. I’m just excited to come in and just be with the group of guys and learn, but also give out information, if that makes sense. Just go out there and compete. I think competing is the biggest thing. When you go out there and you compete, good things happen. So, I’m excited about it.”
When asked about his game and preferences, Turner painted himself as a physical blocker who enjoys dishing out punishment in the run game.
“Smash-mouth,” Turner said of his play style. “Able to get out and pull, get in some space and run a little bit. Just have a little bit of fun, man. It’s fun when you’re throwing the touchdowns, but I think it’s fun when you’re able to run them too.”
Selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by Panthers, the 28-year-old Turner earned five Pro Bowl nods while in Carolina.
After signing a four-year, $20.5 million contract extension in 2017, Turner was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for tackle Russell Okung in March of 2020.
He started nine games at right guard for the Bolts last season, but was cut earlier this offseason in a money-saving move.
Turner is expected to slide into the starting lineup immediately for the Steelers as a replacement for veteran right guard David DeCastro, who was released by the team hour before Turner’s signing last month.