I wish somebody had told me to take a nap before my first night game, even if it was difficult to chill out. I was so wired up during the day that I felt exhausted at kickoff.
I wish somebody had taken the time to show me how to adjust my jersey on my shoulder pads after I put two-way tape on to keep the defensive linemen from grabbing my jersey. I played the second half of a game against Atlanta with a numb right arm. It sure is hard to hold when you can’t feel anything.
I wish when I was warned to keep my “Head on a swivel” the first time someone picked off a pass against us, that I had kept my head on a swivel. When the defense INT’S it’s like the inmates taking over the asylum. Yep, that one hurt.
I wish that when George Perlas, the defensive line coach of the Steelers back in the day, asked for a rookie volunteer during my first training camp, to step in and play guinea pig while Georgie boy experimented with a new twist to a violent pass rush with Gary Dunn and John Banaszak, I had just swallowed my tongue.
I wish I had been smarter than to call Terry Bradshaw “Turdshaw” my rookie year while lolly-gagging back to the huddle because I was a little tired after taking a bunch of snaps. He had a much bigger vocabulary than he was given credit for. It pays to keep your big yapper shut when you’re a rook.
I wish I had learned how to deep snap before I tried out as a deep snapper for the Steelers. Back-up punter Terry Bradshaw (at that time) standing on the shoulders of Wilt Chamberlin couldn’t knock that one down.
I wish when Chuck Noll gave me the “Look” after i screwed up a play in my first game that i knew then he wasn’t actually going to bite my head off and send me home on a bus. Coach Noll could freeze your inner body parts with that look. But oh man, could he coach!
I wish I had moved away from Tunch Ilkin sooner when he belched and by doing so actually avoided having him throw up on my foot in the huddle during a game in Cleveland. He hosed me so bad I sounded like a duck when I walked.
I wish I had game film of when Tunch followed up by hosing Cleveland nose tackle Ron Simmons in the face at the snap of the ball on the play following when he was a center and we were playing side by side. Easiest double team block I’ve ever had in my 12 year NFL career.
I wish when Joe Greene said “Don’t hold me rook” i had listened.
I wish when I was told to pick up my travel blazer for our first away game that I knew there was no such thing as a travel blazer.
I wish I hadn’t locked my keys in my car and found out with just 17 minutes to go until we had to be in our rooms at Bonaventure Hall for bedcheck in training camp.
There’s a saying appropriate here, “You can’t fix stupid.”
Listen to the Tunch and Wolf’s “In the Locker Room” show on Fox Sports Radio 970AM Pittsburgh
Monday – Friday
11:00am to 1:00pm
READ Craig’s “Training Camp” blog stories (Link)