Most NFL franchises are businesses, some are teams. But the Steelers, at least this year, seem more like a fraternity. Those who were drafted - or signed as UDFA's (or FA's) - have been inculcated with fraternity lore, taught the history, the traditions, and what is expected of them.
Unlike most houses, there's more than one pledgemaster here. Hines is handling the wideouts. Aaron Smith and Kiesel are handling the new crop of defensive linemen. There's teaching and bonding going on every day. Do not underestimate the importance of this. On many teams, veterans fear the rookies who are there to take away their jobs. At Latrobe, veterans have been teaching rookies to carry on their tradition.
Ziggy Hood seems to be the Pledge Class President, the "golden pledge." He signed early, he was at the southside facility early to study films and keep in condition. He's been respectful of the brothers, sought them out and learned from them, and emulated their techniques. Know what the brothers like about Ziggy? Everything.
Pledgemaster Ward, who did such a great job teaching Pledge Holmes the virtues of the Steeler Way, is now busy working with Pledge Wallace. 'Nuff said.
There are some other very, very promising pledges.....and we have been impressed with the pledge class that rush chairman Colbert assembled....with probably half a dozen (or more) likely to become brothers this year...and several others remaining pledges on the practice squad.
The brothers - especially the seniors - can enjoy their easy camp. They're in shape. This gives them a break, but also gives the pledges and younger brothers more experience.
"Band of Brothers," they called themselves last year. And as they prepare to break camp, this band of brothers seems stronger, deeper, and closer than they were last year. They were the best house on campus last year, and it looks like they have a helluva pledge class.