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New Father Joey Fisher Has Added Motivation to Make Impact in 2nd Season with Steelers

Second-year offensive lineman Joey Fisher found a new motivation in life and is hoping to use it to make the Steelers final roster.

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Steelers Joey Fisher
Pittsburgh Steelers guard Joey Fisher at the team's OTAs, May 28, 2024 -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Joey Fisher spent about four months on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad in 2023. While he failed to be elevated to the active roster, there is a new motivation in his life that he hopes pushes him over the hump in 2024. That new motivation is the birth of his child.

That is not saying Fisher did not try his hardest to make the team last season, his child is just another reason for him to go out and perform at his highest each and everyday. While the game of football is just that, a game, it means that much more for Fisher now.

“Now having a mouth to feed gives me that new drive, that new perspective on life,” Fisher told Alan Saunders of Steelers Now. “Not only as a father but as a player, too, knowing this is not a game anymore, I got mouths to feed. So I am coming in everyday and being that sponge.”

After going undrafted and bouncing around practice squads, most guys that had a baby would pack it up and go find a job in the real world. For Fisher, that was not an option as he is right where he dreamed of since he was a kid. From that dream as a kid to the hard-work that he put in at Division II Sheperd, Fisher was not letting it go to waste. Instead he opted to use it as his motivation.

“My mindset was obviously as a kid I dreamed about being at this level,” Fisher said. “Continuing through all of the stages through high school and college I continued to dream about being here. It started to get surreal when scouts started coming to practices. … I went to these college bowl games and showed ‘hey listen, even though we are from [Division II], we can still compete with the guys from the [Division I] level.”

For somebody to juggle a new family while attempting to launch a professional career, they need a strong support system. When you are an NFL player, many people will appear to support you but it is about finding the real ones which Fisher did. Through all of this, Fisher is using his family as his backbone.

“Oh, it is big,” Fisher said about how important a support system is. “You realize who is in your corner and who is not in your corner. There are guys only there when your name is in the paper and then there is people there when it is quiet and dark. You always want to on those people. Usually for me it is my immediate family, they always have my back going through each of these process. … Having them guys to lean on to bounce ideas and feeling off of is great.”

After going undrafted to bouncing around three practice squads, Fisher feels like a new player heading into 2024. Fisher used his last year worth of experiences to better position himself to compete for a roster spot in 2024.

“I definitely feel like I got the blueprint from last year,” Fisher said. “Obviously it is not ideal to bounce around but being able to pick up golden nuggets through other organizations and to come back here. I got my weight up, sitting around 320. I know what to do, I don’t feel like a lost dog and I know what coach Tomlin expects of us, I know what coach Pat [Meyers] expects of us.”

With five guys that can play guard in front of him, Fisher does face an uphill battle again. While he is unlikely to surpass any of the guards ahead of him, his experience in the system should give him an advantage over a guy like Anderson Hardy when it comes to decision time. He is more than likely to end up on the practice squad in 2024.

“I need to come in and work and do what is expected of [me]. Make the routine things routinely and success should be in the future so I am happy to be here, happy to be back.”

79 • Joey Fisher, Guard, Shepherd
6-foot-4, 296 pounds, 26 years old, 2nd pro season

Acquired: The Steelers originally signed Joey Fisher to the team’s practice squad on Aug. 30, 2023. After being released in November, the Steelers offered Fisher a reserve/future contract for the 2024 season.

Last YearAfter going undrafted out of the Division II school Sheperd, Joey Fisher signed with the San Fransisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent. The 49ers released Fisher as a part of the team’s final roster cuts in August.

A Baltimore, Maryland native, Fisher played for Division II Shepherd University, where he played alongside Chicago Bears backup quarterback Tyson Bagent.

Fisher became an All-American at the Division II level, starting three seasons for the Rams. He was also an All-PSAC First Team selection his senior season. During the preseason in San Francisco, Fisher played 37 snaps, logging all of those snaps at left guard. He can play both spots but primarily played on the left side in San Francisco.

Two days after his release, he signed with the Steelers. He spent roughly four months on the team’s practice squad before being released in November.

After the Steelers released Fisher, he signed with the Browns practice squad but only spent three weeks with the team.

Steelers Guard Joey Fisher

Shepherd offensive lineman Joey Fisher in a game.

CollegeA Baltimore, Maryland native, Fisher played for Division II Shepherd University, where he played alongside Chicago Bears backup quarterback Tyson Bagent.

Fisher became an All-American at the Division II level, starting three seasons for the Rams. He was also an All-PSAC First Team selection his senior season.

Due to their play together, Fisher and Bagent earned in invitations to the 2023 Senior Bowl. Fisher missed the game due to a hand injury.

Salary cap and future: Joey Fisher is signed through the end of this season. If Fisher makes the team’s final roster, he will cost $795,000 against the team’s cap space. Since none of the contract is guaranteed, if the Steelers decide to release him, the team will not face any dead money penalties.

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