PITTSBURGH — As a rookie, let alone a seventh-round pick, getting the first interception in a given career should mean a lot. Usually, the focus would be on that player who had overcome the odds to playing time to make a big play. However, Tre Norwood’s first career interception was a little different.
Norwood’s first career interception allowed something bigger. In Ben Roethlisberger’s last home game at Heinz Field after 18 years of playing there, it looked like Roethlisberger’s last play would be Najee Harris’s touchdown run. But Norwood’s interception allowed Roethlisberger to get into victory formation one last time. For a rookie like Norwood, it meant a lot to be able to help that moment come true.
“That means a lot, and that might be an understatement, honestly,” Norwood said. “He’s been doing it here in Pittsburgh for 18 years at a high level. You can just see how much the city loves him, how much the organization loves him, just being able to be a part of that and give him an opportunity to go out there in victory formation one last time is special. It’s something that I’ll always remember especially as a rookie. That’s something that’ll go in the memory and that I’ll hold on tight from here on out.”
Even though he plays defense and Roethlisberger plays offense, the rookie has learned a lot from Roethlisberger, even through their brief and inconsistent interactions. Guys like Roethlisberger, Norwood says, lay the foundation for players on both sides of football.
“Just sitting back and watching a guy like that work, I can learn something from everyone no matter what position they play,” Norwood said. “With him being here for 18 years, he’s won Super Bowls, and just seeing him going about his day is something I appreciate. I just take nuggets and incorporate them into my routine.”
Norwood will take the moment in stride and carry it with him for the rest of his life and career. Even still, though, Norwood may have learned a lot about the fans of Pittsburgh through what he experienced with Roethlisberger’s final play on Monday.
“It allowed the city of Pittsburgh to just embrace him and that moment,” Norwood said. “He’s done so much here. 18 years, man, and he’s done so much for this city, this organization, and Pittsburgh as a whole. Just being a part of that means a lot.”